Vol. 150, No. 20 — October 5, 2016


SOR/2016-254 September 23, 2016


Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Standard 214)

P.C. 2016-818 September 23, 2016

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to subsections 5(1) (see footnote a) and 11(1) (see footnote b) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (see footnote c), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Standard 214).

Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Standard 214)


1 The portion of item 214 of Schedule III to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (see footnote 1) in column II is replaced by the following:

Column I

Item (CMVSS)

Column II



Side Impact Protection

2 Section 214 of Part III of Schedule IV to the Regulations and the heading before it are replaced by the following:

Side Impact Protection (Standard 214)


214 (1) The following vehicles shall conform to the requirements of Technical Standards Document No. 214, Side Impact Protection (TSD 214), as amended from time to time:

(2) However, S7 and S9 of TSD 214 do not apply to an outboard designated seating position equipped with a seat or seat belt that is for a disabled person if the following requirements are met:

(3) The statements set out in subparagraphs (b)(i) and (ii) and in paragraph (c) shall be included in the owner’s manual.

Technical Standards Document No. 214

(4) For the purposes of this section,

Transitional Provision

(5) Despite subsections (1) to (4), the vehicles referred to in subsection (1) may, until September 1, 2018, conform to the requirements of this section as it read immediately before the day on which this subsection comes into force.

Coming into Force

3 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.


(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)


Side impact collisions often have serious consequences. Between 2008 and 2012, side impact collisions accounted for 14.5% of the vehicle occupant road fatalities in Canada. Furthermore, the previous Canadian Regulations were out of alignment with the corresponding U.S. regulations.


Side impact collisions can be categorized into two types. The most common side impact collision occurs when the side of a vehicle is struck by the front of another vehicle. The second type, typically more severe side impact collision, occurs when the side of a vehicle hits a narrow, rigid stationary object, such as a pole or a tree. Compared to the front and rear ends of most passenger vehicles, the sides of a vehicle contain very limited energy-absorbing structure to protect the occupants in a collision. Occupants on the struck side of the vehicle are therefore vulnerable to greater injury.

Canada’s previous Regulations consisted of a quasi-static test in which a force is applied to a door, to reduce the risk of intrusion in a collision. This test requirement was aligned with the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 214 prior to their adoption of a moving deformable barrier test for passenger cars in 1996. The moving deformable barrier device is designed to simulate a striking vehicle during a typical intersection collision.

In 2003, Transport Canada introduced a moving deformable barrier test when it signed a side impact Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each of the major vehicle manufacturers. This agreement requires vehicle manufacturers to choose to meet either FMVSS 214 or United Nations Regulation No. 95. At the time of signing of the MOU, it was determined that the safety benefits of the U.S. and United Nations regulations were similar, even though the moving deformable barrier test in each regulation differed in physical parameters.

In 2007, the United States updated FMVSS 214 to add a new pole impact test, to include a dummy in the rear seat for the moving deformable barrier test, and to require the use of a female test dummy in both testing protocols. The pole impact test is designed to simulate the impact of the side of the vehicle with a narrow stationary pole. In addition, the United States regulation allows vehicles that have been modified to accommodate a disabled person to be exempt from the moving deformable barrier and pole tests of FMVSS 214.

Canada’s policy to pursue aligned motor vehicle regulations is designed to reduce trade barriers within North America. It assists the Government in achieving the mutual goals of the three North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) nations; these goals include encouraging compatibility of regulations and eliminating redundant testing. On February 4, 2011, the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States directed the creation of the joint Canada–United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC), which commits both countries to finding ways to prevent or reduce regulatory barriers to cross-border trade.

A report commissioned by Industry Canada and completed in 2012 reviewed the major existing vehicle side impact and ejection mitigation protection regimes employed worldwide and recommended options for Transport Canada’s consideration. The report concluded that given the United States’ updates to FMVSS 214, the Canadian side impact MOU had become dated in its safety requirements. The main recommendation of the report was for Canada to adopt the testing requirements of FMVSS 214.


This amendment updates Canada’s side impact protection requirements by adopting the requirements of U.S. FMVSS 214. This also fulfills Canada’s commitment to the RCC, ensuring alignment of Canadian and U.S. regulations for side impact, thus minimizing cost to manufacturers and consumers while providing a high level of safety.


The amendment aligns with the U.S. regulation, namely FMVSS 214, by incorporating by reference Technical Standards Document (TSD) 214 — Side Impact Protection. The aligned Regulations mandate one of the two moving deformable barrier options under the current MOU on side impact testing protocols and also mandate new testing requirements for a stationary pole test. It also provides exemptions for vehicles that have been modified to accommodate disabled persons.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this amendment, as there is no change in administrative costs to business.

Small business lens

This amendment provides exemptions for vehicles that have been modified to accommodate disabled persons. Such alterations and modifications are often made by small businesses. There are no disproportionate costs to (or preferential benefits for) small businesses that build vehicles for the transportation of disabled persons.


The proposal for this amendment was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on February 27, 2016, followed by a 75-day comment period. Following the Part I publication, two letters with comments were received from stakeholders.

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA), representing Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors, expressed support for the amendment.

The Global Automakers of Canada (GAC), representing 15 manufacturers, including the major European and Asian manufacturers, also expressed support for the amendment; however, they requested that the proposed effective date of September 1, 2018, be modified to September 1, 2019, to allow sufficient time for any uniquely Canadian models to comply with the amended Regulations.

On December 31, 2013, Transport Canada sent letters to the CVMA and GAC informing them of the intention to align with the U.S. regulation, and that the regulatory amendment was being initiated. The Department has determined that sufficient lead time has been provided to manufacturers to prepare for any necessary design changes. Therefore, the effective date of September 1, 2018, will remain the same as the original proposal.


The previous Canadian Regulations and MOU for side impact protection are considered dated in their safety requirements. In 2012, a consultant’s report, which reviewed existing international vehicle side impact protection requirements and future options for Canada, was completed for Industry Canada. This report concluded that the U.S. regulation for side impact protection was more stringent than the European equivalent, as it includes a pole test requirement, the requirement to use a female dummy in addition to a male dummy, and the requirement to test with a rear seat dummy. None of these requirements are currently featured in the United Nations regulation, the application of which is one of the options in the MOU.

Given the integrated North American vehicle market, almost all vehicle models sold in Canada are also available in the United States. It is expected there will be no additional cost to the manufacturers of these common market vehicles in order for them to meet the Canadian Regulations, since no testing will be required in addition to the side impact testing that is already mandated in the United States. For common market vehicles, manufacturers will only need to design their models to the standards of the U.S. regulations to comply with the Canadian Regulations.

Transport Canada has reviewed vehicle model availability to determine which are the non-common market vehicles. Well over 99% of the vehicles sold in Canada are also sold in the U.S. marketplace. Only two models have been identified as unique to the Canadian marketplace. These two models are both equipped standard with a full complement of curtain air bags (which provide head protection) and in-seat side air bags (which provide thoracic protection for occupants). It is common for some manufacturers to offer vehicles unique to the Canadian marketplace to suit the specific needs of Canadian consumers. It is unknown if the two unique Canadian market models would meet the new side impact test requirements without modification. If modifications are needed, they are expected to be minor, since most major world markets have stringent side impact testing requirements that are either regulated, as in Canada, or are part of a new car assessment program. It is therefore not expected that this amendment would have any impact on the availability of Canadian market vehicles.

“Part 595 - Make Inoperative Exemptions” of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations contains exemptions for vehicles that have been modified to accommodate disabled persons. The Canadian regulation contains similar exemptions to those of the United States in that the exemptions apply only to altered vehicles. Specifically, any outboard designated seating position (including those of the driver and front passengers) that has had the seat or seat belt modified to accommodate a disabled person can be exempt from the moving deformable barrier and pole test requirements as long as a warning of this deviation is posted in the vehicle.

In addition to supporting North American alignment, the Government supports international alignment efforts. The United Nations is currently working on a Global Technical Regulation (GTR) that will include a pole side impact test that is similar to U.S. FMVSS 214. This GTR will also include the use of new international WorldSID dummies. Canada has been a strong supporter of the development of this dummy family and has contributed to the international effort by testing prototypes. While phase I of the GTR with the mid-sized male dummy work is now complete, there are still several years of work left with the small female dummy. At the United Nations World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, WP.29, Canada noted its intention to propose to allow, as a regulatory option, the requirements of the GTR and the use of the new dummies once the work on the small female dummy has been completed and approved. Following the introduction of the pole test and the new dummies into the GTR, it is anticipated that the GTR will provide safety benefits similar to those of FMVSS 214.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Motor vehicle manufacturers and importers are responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and its regulations. The Department of Transport monitors the self-certification programs of manufacturers and importers by reviewing their test documentation, inspecting vehicles, and testing vehicles obtained in the open market. In addition, when a manufacturer or importer identifies a defect in a vehicle or in equipment, it must issue a Notice of Defect to the owners and to the Minister of Transport. Any person or company that contravenes a provision of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act or its regulations is guilty of an offence, and liable to the applicable penalty set out in the Act.

For the purposes of voluntary compliance by vehicle manufacturers, vehicles may comply with the requirements of this amendment as of the date of publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II. However, all vehicles covered by this amendment and manufactured on or after September 2, 2018, will be required to fully comply with the Regulations.


Anthony Jaz
Senior Regulatory Development Engineer
Motor Vehicle Safety
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N5
Email: anthony.jaz@tc.gc.ca