Report a potential safety defect of vehicles, tires and child car seats

If you think a safety defect may be affecting your vehicle, tires or child car seat, report the problem to our Defect Investigations and Recalls Division. We will document and analyze your complaint, and investigate if needed.

On this page

How to report a potential safety defect

Fill in our online defect complaint form

Or call us:
Telephone: 819-994-3328 (Gatineau-Ottawa area or internationally)
Toll free: 1-800-333-0510 (in Canada)

Our telephone service is available Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm eastern standard or daylight saving time (EST). Outside those hours, you can leave a message. We will return your call the next business day.

Our service standards

What is a safety defect?

Safety defects of vehicles, tires or child car seats:

  • originate when a product is designed, manufactured or assembled
  • interfere with its safe functioning
  • can be found in a group of similar vehicles, tires or child car seats
  • directly endanger people’s safety, including:
    • drivers
    • passengers
    • people in other vehicles
    • pedestrians
    • cyclists
    • other road users
  • cause a problem that:
    • happens with little or no warning
    • is not due to everyday wear and tear, a lack of maintenance or the owner’s negligence

Examples of what is and isn’t considered a safety defect

Safety defects include:

  • steering components that fail suddenly, causing loss of vehicle control
  • problems with fuel system components that cause vehicle fires
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems that activate when they’re not needed, resulting in a loss of vehicle control
  • wiring problems that may lead to a fire or a sudden loss of lighting
  • air bags that deploy when they should not
  • child car seats with defective harness systems, buckles or components
  • improperly designed or constructed tires that may fail unexpectedly
  • critical vehicle components that may fail causing loss of vehicle control, or injury to people inside or outside the vehicle

Defects that we don’t consider safety-related, and therefore that we do not investigate:

  • paint or cosmetic blemishes
  • engine or other powertrain performance problems
  • squeaks, rattles and noises that warn the driver before a component fails
  • non-structural or body panel rust
  • air conditioners and radios that don’t work properly
  • air bags that do not deploy in less serious non-injury collisions
  • ordinary wear and tear on a vehicle’s parts

Concerns about vehicle fuel consumption and emissions

For information on vehicle fuel consumption, read about energy efficiency for transportation and alternative fuels. To learn how the federal government regulates vehicle emissions, read about sources of air pollution from transportation.

Fuel consumption complaints

Natural Resources Canada
Telephone: 1-855-525-9293 (in Canada)
Email: NRCan.media_relations-media_relationsRNCan@canada.ca

Emissions complaints

Environment and Climate Change Canada
Telephone: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada)
Email: ec.infovehiculeetmoteur-vehicleandengineinfo.ec@canada.ca