The bar is about to be raised on safety standards for used cars.
Starting July 1, there will be tighter standards for brakes, steering, powertrain, wheels and tires. They're all outlined in a huge document from Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation.
“The cars have changed a lot in 40 years so we need to adjust the legislation a little bit and I don't think any of the changes are that drastic,” says mechanic Scott Beatty. “When most people buy a used vehicle they expect it to be up to snuff when they purchase it.”
For small independent dealerships who want to remain in business, being responsible has always been a practice. However, those who cut corners to save money might be forced to spend more.
“I think for some of the dealers who do the bare minimum for safety, these changes will have an impact,” says Christian Binus of Bayfield Used Cars Sales.
Some larger car dealerships agree with the new standards and a well-educated consumer understands with used cars, you get what you pay for.
“Our safety standards have always been over and above that of the ministry,” says Dave Morrison of Georgian Pontiac. “Whether it be tires or brakes, whatever it needs. If we feel it needs to be changed we're going to do that before you pick up the vehicle.”
The MTO says the changes will force those who certify used cars to be accountable and hopefully make roads safer.
“Any legislation that can impact that is a good thing for the safety of people driving,” says Jason Schwartz.
Mechanics and businesses who don't honour the new standards could lose their licence and face fines of up to $20,000.