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Transport Canada new recall law on emissions and your vehicle.

The Transport Canada site where you find the other outstanding recall information after punching in your VIN. So when you buy a car, you won’t know if it needs hundreds of dollars of repairs to its exhaust or engine until you visit the obligatory emissions test – repairs that could have conceivably been dealt with by a manufacturer-covered recall. 

Under our last federal government, it was decided that emissions-related issues should be ferried over to a different department: environment. Even though those systems are, you know, attached to your car. The proposed legislation before the Senate that she wrote about last week would correct this. It’s another reason this Bill S-2 is important. We need one central real-time look-up for vehicle recall information. 

The good news? The government has finally announced a date to drop the Drive Clean test fee in Ontario. As of April, consumers won’t have to fork over the 30 bucks it now costs (+HST) to get the mandatory emissions testing done every other year on cars over seven years old. The decision to cut the fee was announced nearly a year ago, and many drivers have been grudgingly paying for the required testing, wondering when the government was going to make good on its promise.

The bad news? The bad news is something you probably have no inkling about. You know when you are dutifully checking out the Transport Canada website for outstanding recalls on a vehicle? You’re doing your due diligence, chasing down all the loose ends but guess what? If there are outstanding recalls on your car that pertain to its emissions systems, you won’t find them on the Transport Canada site where you find the other outstanding recall information after punching in your VIN.

Everyone dreads having a failed emissions test, mostly because, “but the car runs just fine.” It’s a grudge match between consumers and the government. But what if, in some cases, a manufacturer was offering a fix and you just didn’t know about it?

Emissions testing is a prickly issue. If your engine light is on, you will not pass an emission test. Period. But sorting out why the light is on can be difficult or easy, expensive or cheap. There. That clear anything up?

That engine light on can refer to any part of your emissions system, and also many parts of it. Once it’s on, it can be layering in codes and faults. Everybody likes to find out it’s just because the gas cap wasn’t screwed on tight enough; nobody wants to hear they need a new exhaust system, though that can be the range of problems indicated by that little amber light.

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