Group calls for new anti-theft technologies for cars sold in Canada

Transport Canada new car -web image
Transport Canada new car -web image

New technologies and outdated regulations are making Canada an international hotspot for automobile thefts.

According to data from the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association, one vehicle is stolen every six minutes in Canada. Over the past year, vehicle thefts in Alberta have climbed 18 per cent after several years of decline. Équité Association of Canada (EAC), a group that works to protect both insurers and consumers, says Transport Canada’s outdated regulations are partly to blame.

The current theft prevention standards included in Canada’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations have not been updated since 2007. EAC says the regulations predate technologies like keyless entry and remote start becoming commonplace.

“Back in 2007, when those standards were [sic] adopted, considerations were not given to push button start vehicles,” said Bryan Gast, VP, Investigative Services, Équité Association.

 “Criminals are now taking advantage of the outdated standards. They are able to quickly and easily exploit these vulnerabilities, which has led to this significant increase in stolen vehicles across Canada.”

One solution proposed by the group is equipping new automobiles with a vehicle immobilizer. The device allows a vehicle to be disabled remotely, rendering it undrivable.

“With consumers spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new vehicle, they should not be expected to absorb additional costs for an aftermarket immobilizer,” said Terri O’Brien, President & CEO, Équité Association.

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