Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act: SOR/2021-83
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 155, Number 9
SOR/2021-83 April 19, 2021
MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT
P.C. 2021-305 April 19, 2021
His Excellency the Administrator of the Government of Canada in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to subsection 11(1) footnote a of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act footnote b, makes the annexed Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Made Under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act
Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations
1 (1) Subparagraph 2(a)(iv) of Schedule V.1 to the English version of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations footnote 1 is replaced by the following:
- (iv) International Organization for Standardization standard ISO 362-1:2015, Measurement of noise emitted by accelerating road vehicles — Engineering method — Part 1: M and N categories, the sound level does not exceed 80 dBA when a value of 2 dBA is subtracted from the final result Lurban, calculated in accordance with section 8.4 of that Standard, in the case of a bus, multi-purpose passenger vehicle, truck or chassis-cab with a GVWR of more than 2 722 kg and not more than 4 536 kg, or
(2) Paragraph 2(b) of Schedule V.1 to the Regulations is repealed.
Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations
2 Paragraph 5(4)(a) of the Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations footnote 2 is replaced by the following:
- (a) meets one of the following snow traction requirements:
- (i) when tested using the snow traction test described in ASTM F1805 - 06, Standard Test Method for Single Wheel Driving Traction in a Straight Line on Snow- and Ice-Covered Surfaces, with medium pack snow and a test load equal to 74% of the test inflation rated load described in that test method, attains a traction index equal to or greater than 110 compared to a standard reference test tire that meets the requirements of ASTM E1136 - 10, Standard Specification for P195/75R14 Radial Standard Reference Test Tire; or
- (ii) when tested using the snow traction test described in ASTM F1805 - 20, Standard Test Method for Single Wheel Driving Traction in a Straight Line on Snow- and Ice-Covered Surfaces, with medium pack snow and a test load equal to 74% of the test inflation rated load described in that test method, attains a traction index equal to or greater than 112 compared to a standard reference test tire that meets the requirements of any version of ASTM F2493, Standard Specification for P225/60R16 97S Radial Standard Reference Test Tire, in effect within the less-than-two-year period referred to in section 9.1 of ASTM F1805 - 20; and
Coming into Force
3 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations
As part of a 2016 amendment to Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 1106 on noise emissions (Standard 1106), paragraph 2(a) of Schedule V.1 [“Noise Emissions (Standard 1106)”] to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (MVSR) was amended to replace outdated noise emissions provisions with updated testing standards. The intention of this change was also to give vehicle manufacturers various testing options for meeting noise emissions requirements. However, industry stakeholders have noted that paragraph 2(a) is worded in such a way that they have to test according to all of the applicable standards in that section as opposed to just one of the standards. The paragraph includes the conjunction “and” instead of “or,” which has caused some interpretation issues within the industry. For example, for some groupings of prescribed vehicles, industry would have to test according to both the SAE International (SAE) Standard J1470 (June 1998) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard ISO 362-1:2015.
Requiring manufacturers to comply with more than one standard has never been the policy intention of MVSR Standard 1106. The policy has always been that companies must perform any one of the applicable tests mentioned in MVSR Standard 1106, when choices have been provided.
As it is costly for industry to do all applicable tests and since there is no safety benefit to doing so, amending the paragraph with the accurate wording will help clarify the true intent of the policy, consistent with previous versions of Standard 1106. This policy gives companies the choice of adhering to one of several listed standards applicable to their prescribed class vehicle, in the case where a choice of standards exists.
Furthermore, paragraph 2(b) of Schedule V.1 to the MVSR references a legacy standard that has expired since the 2016 amendment. The paragraph referencing SAE Recommended Practice J986 was valid until September 1, 2019. Its purpose was to test the exterior sound level of certain vehicles, as stated in paragraph 2(b). Since this date has passed, this paragraph is no longer relevant and has been removed.
Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations
The definition of “winter tire” in the Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations (MVTSR) included specific testing conditions and comparison with a standard reference test tire (SRTT14). Since the manufacture of this particular standard reference test tire was recently phased out, and final stocks will run out soon, companies would be left without a way of self-certifying winter tires. The section needed to be amended to allow for another, newer standard reference test tire (SRTT16) that is already familiar to industry, and allow for the legacy SRTT14 until the depletion of stock. This regulatory amendment is purely an update and will neither introduce any new requirements nor generate any incremental costs.
Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations
Standard 1106 was added to Schedule V.1 of the MVSR in 1972 (SOR/72-248) and contains the requirements related to noise emissions for most prescribed classes of vehicles. In some cases, the requirements gave companies the choice of adhering to one of several listed standards applicable to their prescribed class of vehicle. The intent was to limit the noise emission of vehicles while allowing companies to choose the method (standard) that they might have already used in another jurisdiction, providing them with economies of scale. Each method was deemed to meet the overall goal of limiting noise emissions.
The previous versions of the standard incorporated by reference testing procedures that had become outdated and were potentially preventing new technologies from being implemented in the marketplace. Industry stakeholders had requested that the outdated noise emissions provisions be replaced with updated testing standards that are appropriate for the new technologies now being brought to market by these stakeholders. Therefore, Standard 1106 was most recently amended in 2016 (SOR/2016-318) and was published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on December 28, 2016.
However, industry has recently raised some issues with regard to those amendments. It appears that when those amendments were made, they made it possible to interpret the entire list of standards as mandatory instead of allowing companies to select their preferred method. Therefore, a minor correction was needed to clarify the intended requirements.
Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations
The Canadian federal regulatory definition for winter tires is found under subsection 5(4) of the MVTSR. To be called a winter tire, a tire must meet or exceed a performance level (“traction index”) relative to an industry-standard reference test tire (SRTT14) in a standard test (F1805). If a tire has successfully passed this test, the tire's manufacturer can mould a special alpine symbol on at least one sidewall of each example of the tire, indicating that the tire is suitable for use in severe snow conditions. The design of the alpine symbol itself is also defined in the MVTSR. These winter tire safety requirements are aligned with those of the United States.
The particular SRTT14 referenced in the MVTSR has been produced since 1986. Due to the industrial phase out of specific materials for the tire, and the rapidly declining popularity of its size (14” rim diameter), its sole manufacturer has been obliged to phase the SRTT14 out of production. Since May 2015, the manufacturer has been notifying stakeholders of the need to stop production of the SRTT14. The affected stakeholders, in this context, include industry groups, governments, regulators, and standards organizations. The final SRTT14 production run occurred recently, and it was estimated that stocks of the tire will be exhausted by early 2021 at the latest.
The standards organization responsible for the SRTT14 and the associated test standard F1805 is called ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials. Soon after the SRTT14 phase out was first announced, the responsible ASTM committee commissioned a task force to study how to replace the SRTT14. The task force designed a three-year test program that concluded in early 2018. The test data gathered in this test program was then analyzed and the final results were published in early 2019.
The final ASTM report recommended that the SRTT14 should be replaced by another, more modern test tire, known colloquially as the SRTT16, that corresponds to ASTM standard F2493. The necessary correction coefficients to create a performance equivalency between the SRTT14 and SRTT16 were included in the report. A consensus was reached in the tire stakeholder community that this is the way forward to continue to produce tires that meet North American safety regulations.
Companies need this newer SRTT16 in order to continue to self-certify that tires meet the regulatory requirements (from an industry perspective), and Transport Canada (TC) needs the SRTT16 to continue doing compliance testing of tires. To this end, the MVTSR is being amended to allow stakeholders to use up old stocks of the SRTT14, and to begin using the SRTT16 as soon as possible, to facilitate uninterrupted winter tire safety and compliance testing.
The amendment to the language regarding Standard 1106 in paragraph 2(a) of Schedule V.1 to the MVSR accurately indicates which test standards need to be followed in order for companies to be in compliance with the MVSR. This amendment provides continuity with the policy that has been consistently applied by TC since 1972, which stipulates that companies have a choice between the specified standards, if an option has been provided.
By removing the obsolete paragraph 2(b) from Schedule V.1, the amendment maintains the correct application of the MVSR and enhances its clarity.
Additionally, amending the winter tire definition in the MVTSR will add clarity by accurately defining how a winter tire is identified, including use of a new standard reference test tire, which will allow safety testing to continue without interruption and therefore promote the safety and security of all motor vehicle users.
The following changes are being made to the provisions regarding Standard 1106 in the MVSR:
- Paragraph 2(a) of Schedule V.1 is amended to clarify the actual policy intent of the provision with appropriate wording that expresses that the company can choose to certify to one of the applicable standards. This provision's wording will be amended to replace the “and” at the end of the paragraph with “or.”
- Paragraph 2(b) of Schedule V.1 is removed, as it is no longer applicable. This paragraph included a deadline which has now passed and is no longer applicable. Removing this paragraph will not have any impact on stakeholders nor will it change the policy intent of the MVSR.
The following change is being made to the MVTSR:
- Paragraph 5(4)(a) is amended to update the winter tire definition. The purpose of this amendment is to reference the replacement standard reference test tire. This amendment is necessary because the company that used to produce the outgoing standard reference test tires is no longer manufacturing them. The amendment is an update and will not introduce any new requirements.
The amendments are a result of issues that were identified by industry from the amendments that were made to the MVSR in 2016, and given their minor administrative and housekeeping nature, no consultations specific to the proposed amendments to Standard 1106 were undertaken.
TC consults with tire industry stakeholder associations on a regular biannual basis. The current amendments to the MVTSR are a result of specialized ad hoc intra-stakeholder consultations that have been taking place since 2015. Industry stakeholders, which comprise the regulated parties, already have detailed awareness of the amendments and have been advocating their adoption for quite some time during the biannual tire industry stakeholder meetings.
As these minor amendments are (i) corrective and administrative in nature, (ii) supported by industry stakeholders, and (iii) not expected to result in any incremental costs to industry stakeholders, they were not prepublished in the Canada Gazette, Part I.
Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation
In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Federal Approach to Modern Treaty Implementation, analysis was undertaken to determine whether these amendments are likely to give rise to modern treaty obligations. This assessment examined the geographic scope and subject matter of the amendments in relation to modern treaties in effect and no modern treaty obligations were identified.
Due to the corrective and administrative nature of these amendments, a regulatory amendment was deemed to be the only approach to make the necessary corrections.
Benefits and costs
These amendments are not expected to result in incremental costs to stakeholders.
The amendments will ensure clarity and certainty for stakeholders about testing requirements and winter tire definitions. The amendments to the MVSR would result in minor cost savings for any stakeholders that may have been complying with more than one standard; however, TC is not aware of any specific cases in which a stakeholder has complied with more than one standard as a result of the wording in the MVSR.
Small business lens
Analysis under the small business lens determined that the amendments will not result in incremental impacts to small businesses in Canada.
The one-for-one rule does not apply to these amendments, as they do not result in any change in administrative costs or burden to businesses.
Regulatory cooperation and alignment
The amendment to paragraph 5(4)(a) of the MVTSR (to update the winter tire definition) is expected to align with the U.S. winter tire safety requirements. The United States has published the intent to update the winter tire reference.
The remaining amendments to the MVSR are minor housekeeping amendments to update the standard on noise emissions, and do not have any implications with regard to regulatory cooperation and alignment.
Strategic environmental assessment
In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals and the TC Policy Statement on Strategic Environmental Assessment (2013), the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process was followed for these amendments and a preliminary scan concluded that a detailed SEA is not required, as there are no anticipated impacts associated with the amendments.
Gender-based analysis plus
No gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) impacts have been identified for these amendments due to the fact that they relate only to vehicle and tire safety standards.
Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards
These amendments will come into force on the day on which they are published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.
Companies are responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (the Act) and its regulations. TC will monitor notices of defect and non-compliance to ensure that they contain, at a minimum, the information required by the regulations, and that companies take action in accordance with timelines specified by those regulations. In addition, TC will gather information related to the presence of safety issues through public complaints and other reports, and through vehicle or component inspection, testing and other proven investigative techniques. Under the authority of the Act, designated inspectors may also search places believed on reasonable grounds to contain records related to the vehicle or equipment, with a view to ascertain any defect or non-compliance with a product, and request documentation believed to contain information relevant to the enforcement of the Act. Any person or company that contravenes a provision of the Act or its regulations is guilty of an offence and liable to the applicable penalty set out in the Act.
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