The Minister of Transport has made a preliminary determination that, in the interest of safety, it may be necessary to order 2000007 ONT. INC., doing business as Inkas, to issue a notice of non-compliance in relation to two 2015 Mobility Ventures MV-1 vehicles that were altered by Inkas in 2016 in a manner that does not comply with the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Act).
This notice explains events leading to today's action, details Transport Canada's authority to make this determination, and invites public comments or additional information the Minister should take into account in making a final decision.
Should the Minister's final decision be to proceed with an order, Inkas will be required to formally notify the Minister and the current owners of the vehicles by describing why the vehicles do not comply, the associated safety risks, and the measures that Inkas will take to correct the non-compliance, in accordance with the requirements of the Act and Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations.
In October of 2019, the lessee of a 2015 Mobility Ventures MV-1 vehicle contacted Transport Canada to report an overloading concern identified by the Winnipeg Police Service. Transport Canada's review of available information indicated that Inkas:
- Altered the vehicle in 2016 by extending its length to a limousine model;
- Applied a new vehicle label indicating a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 3286 kg, 293 kg higher that the manufacturers' rating of 2993 kg; and
- Applied Transport Canada's National Safety Mark, and labelling identifying Inkas as the vehicle's manufacturer rather than the alterer.
Under the Act, a company cannot affix a National Safety Mark to a vehicle unless:
- The vehicle complies with all applicable Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards;
- The company has records that demonstrate that the vehicle complies with applicable requirements, and keeps the records for no less than 5 years; and
- Any increases in the vehicle's GVWR are made:
- According to the original manufacturer's written recommendations; or
- Within the load-carrying capacity of the vehicle's components when the altered vehicle is loaded for its intended use.
Transport Canada made multiple requests that the company provide information to show that they complied with the above requirements; however, at present, Inkas has not provided evidence to this effect.
Inkas disclosed that they had altered a second MV-1 vehicle in the same manner as the first. Inkas issued a notice of non-compliance (a recall) for both vehicles, indicating that the weight rating information on their labelling was incorrect, and that the labels should have identified Inkas as the vehicles' alterer, and not the original manufacturer. In the recall, the company committed to reduce the stated GVWR slightly; however, the reduced figure still exceeds the original manufacturer's ratings by 273 kg.
In addition, Transport Canada located Mobility Ventures / AM General's, the manufacturer, Special Applications Guide (PDF, 17 MB) for the MV-1 vehicle, which indicates that “the aftermarket vehicle manufacturer or upfitter is not permitted to modify or alter the GVWR or GAWR of the vehicle”.
Why this poses a safety risk
Manufacturers design their vehicles to meet applicable Transport Canada safety standards, such as braking, occupant protection, stability, etc. When the vehicle is altered, it is unknown if the vehicle still meets the safety standard unless the alterations were performed in accordance with the manufacturers specifications or the alterer can provide evidence that the vehicle still complies with safety standards after being modified. If a vehicle's GVWR is increased beyond the load-carrying capacity of the vehicle's components, the vehicle may be unsafe to operate and put occupants and other road users at risk.
As the manufacturer appears to recommend against increasing the GVWR on these vehicles, and as Inkas has been unable to show that the GVWR was increased in compliance with the Act or that the vehicle still meets other applicable standards post-alteration, the Minister of Transport is making a preliminary determination that:
- Two 2015 MV-1 vehicles were altered by Inkas in non-compliance with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act; and
- In the interest of safety, it may be necessary to order Inkas to notify the owners of the two MV-1 vehicles that their vehicles were altered in a manner that does not comply with Motor Vehicle Safety Act and fail to meet applicable safety standards.
The public and the company is invited to provide relevant comments or additional information to the Minister in order to help reach a final decision as to whether or not it is necessary to order the company to issue a notice of non-compliance (a recall) under subsection 10.1 (7) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
Comments may be submitted by January 15, 2021.
How to comment
Comments may be submitted to Transport Canada by email at: email@example.com.