Wednesday, October 4, 2023
News Insurer Group Calls For Tougher Auto Anti-Theft Regulations

Insurer Group Calls For Tougher Auto Anti-Theft Regulations

Insurance companies want car theft stopped

  • Group wants a new standard for anti-theft devices introduced

  • Calls for new anti-theft measures every three years


The group that represents insurance companies in Canada is asking the feds to get strict about car theft with new rules for automakers. To help do it, Équité Association is offering up some new rules suggested by UL Standards & Engagements.

Équité Association is a not-for-profit that represents property and casualty insurance companies in Canada. The group doesn’t like car theft any more than you do, because spikes like the ones Canada is seeing in the last few years raise payouts and increase costs for its member insurers (who then pass them on to you). Theft in Quebec and Ontario was up around 50 percent year over year in 2022, with all parts of the country seeing major increases in theft. Most of the vehicles are not recovered.

Auto theft prevention standards are covered by the Canada Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations. Those standards were ahead of their time when they were launched in 2007 (which included requiring immobilizers on all vehicles) but Équité Association says the standards are now obsolete.

“Back in 2007, when those standards were adopted, considerations were not given to push button start vehicles,” said Bryan Gast, VP, Investigative Services, Équité Association. “Criminals are now taking advantage of the outdated standards. They are able to quickly and easily exploit these vulnerabilities, which has led to this significant increase in stolen vehicles across Canada.”

The group suggests that Transport Canada adopt and implement “Standard for Automobile Theft Deterrent Equipment and Systems: Electronic Immobilization”, CAN/ULC 338 Second Edition, as proposed by the UL (formerly Underwriters Laboratories).

That standard calls for effective anti-theft devices to be installed in every new vehicle, and Équité suggests that these devices should “never be more than three years old” to help keep ahead of crooks. High-tech car thieves seem to adapt almost instantly to automaker efforts to stop auto theft, finding increasingly clever ways to make off with your vehicle.

“With consumers spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new vehicle, they should not be expected to absorb additional costs for an aftermarket immobilizer,” said Terri O’Brien, President & CEO, Équité Association. “Auto theft is threatening public safety on a daily basis. Canadians deserve protection from the organized crime syndicates who are behind this drastic increase in auto theft, and the reassurance in knowing that their vehicle is not at risk due to outdated standards.”

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