UPDATE 1-Canada to propose auto recall law

Mon Jun 1, 2015 4:51pm EDT
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(Updates with additional comments from transport minister and opposition parties. Removes references to news release.)

OTTAWA, June 1 (Reuters) - Canada's federal government will introduce legislation this week that would make it possible to force manufacturers to recall defective vehicles, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said Monday.

Under Canadian law, manufacturers must notify consumers of defects, but actual repairs are voluntary. In practice, manufacturers do typically pay for repairs.

"While manufacturers and importers actively issue recalls, the decision cannot rest exclusively in industry's hands," said Transport Minister Lisa Raitt at a news conference.

The government promised the change in its 2015 budget, released in April.

The news comes in the midst of massive recalls linked to defective Takata air bags, which have affected millions of vehicles from automakers worldwide.

Any new legislation is unlikely to pass before an expected election in October, but Raitt said she hoped the opposition parties would consent to allowing her bill to get adopted rapidly in the Canadian Parliament before it adjourns for the summer.

The opposition New Democrats and Liberals said they support the principle of strengthening the rules for recalls but were skeptical about supporting a new bill that they have not seen. (Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)