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Document Demands: Canadian automakers required to submit anti-theft strategy documents by February 28

Ottawa, Ontario — Last week, the Standing Committee on Finance approved a motion by MP Brian Masse (NDP — Windsor West) requiring auto companies with a Canadian footprint to produce their anti-theft strategy documents by February 28.

This requirement comes as a move against rising rates of vehicle theft in the country. Masse’s motion requests documents from 19 companies in total, all which operate in some capacity within the country.

“New Democrats believe action is needed now to put a stop to this theft that is costing Canadian families thousands of dollars,” Masse said. “The NDP is forcing auto CEOs to come clean to Canadians about their security features so we can know what needs to be improved.”

In response to the requirement, Global Automakers of Canada CEO and president David Adams—whose organization represents automakers outside of the Detroit 3—said that companies are concerned about how much information is being sought as well as the short amount of time given to produce the information.

Adams further reported that some of his member automakers received notification on Friday about the information and documentation required, but he isn’t sure all of them did.

Overall, automakers argue that the issue of auto theft is more a crime problem than a vehicle problem. Notably, in a statement on its website, the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA) notes that Canadian auto thefts were nearly three times higher than in the United States in 2022 even though the anti-theft systems used in vehicles are the same in both countries.

“The main driver of higher rates of vehicle theft is weaker vehicle export control measures in Canada compared to the United States,” the CVMA statement said. “This allows criminals to take advantage of the Canadian export market to sell stolen vehicles because of the potential for high profits accompanied by a minimal risk of detection.”

Regardless, Adams also stated automotive companies’ cooperation, and that “our members are continually monitoring and auditing how their vehicles are being stolen and taking measures to harden their vehicles against theft.”

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