Bill 29: New obligations to consumers regarding the quality, durability and repairability of goods and amendments to the Consumer Protection Act. Manufacturers and merchants, get ready...

June 13th, 2023

On June 1, 2023, the Quebec Minister of Justice introduced Bill 29, An Act to protect consumers from planned obsolescence and to promote the durability, repairability and maintenance of goods (the “Bill”), amending the Consumer Protection Act,1 in the National Assembly with the stated aim of strengthening the legal warranty of quality and ensuring the repairability of commonly used goods.

The Bill is the result of a legislative discussion that began some time ago and is driven by Quebec’s determination to remain at the forefront of consumer protection. Inspired by existing measures in other jurisdictions, the Bill also introduces a set of new measures. It would behoove manufacturers and merchants doing business in Quebec to get familiar with them now to start planning for their implementation. 

Subject to parliamentary review and any amendments that may be made during the passage process, the Bill provides for the new standards, obligations and penalties below, which are expected to fundamentally change the way consumer goods manufacturers and merchants do business in Quebec.


A. New warranty of good working order 

The existing legal warranty of quality set out in the Civil Code of Québec and the Consumer Protection Act already provides that goods must be fit for the purposes for which they are normally intended for a reasonable length of time, taking into account their price, their destination and their conditions of use.

Bill 29 modifies the legal warranty of quality by standardizing the length of time that certain goods must be in good working order and by imposing new disclosure requirements regarding the scope of the warranty.

  • Predetermined duration of warranty of good working order for certain goods: The Bill provides that the warranty period for certain specified goods will be determined by regulation. Both the manufacturer and the merchant will be liable for the warranty, barring normal maintenance required for the goods, the need for accessories or misuse by the consumer. The warranty also covers parts and labour.2
  • Repair costs: For goods that carry a warranty of good working order for a specified period, the merchant or manufacturer will pay the reasonable cost of transporting or shipping the goods to fulfill the warranty, as well as the cost of repair.3
  • Disclosure of warranty of good working order: The manufacturer must disclose the warranty in the manner and under the conditions prescribed by regulation.4
  • Labelling of warranty of good working order: The merchant must indicate the duration of the warranty of good working order near the advertised price of the goods in a manner as prominent as the price.5

The duration of the warranty of good working order of the goods identified in the Bill (a range, a refrigerator, a freezer, a dishwasher, a microwave oven, a washing machine, a dryer, an audio device, an audio-video device, a computer and its peripheral equipment, a cellular telephone, an air conditioner, a dehumidifier, a heat pump or any other goods determined by regulation) is currently unknown and will be determined by regulation at a later date.

The minimum duration of good working order could have a significant impact on the application of the legal warranty of quality for manufacturers (especially if the warranty proves to be inconsistent with the characteristics of the goods sold) as well as for merchants, who will also be obliged to honour it.

Manufacturers and merchants must also plan to revise their documentation, advertising and labelling to indicate the duration of the warranty according to parameters to be determined.

Failure to disclose and indicate the duration of a warranty of good working order in accordance with the specified requirements will constitute a prohibited business practice under the proposed legislation.6


B. Repairability of goods

The repairability of goods and the availability of replacement parts at reasonable prices are key aspects of the legislative initiative to protect consumers from planned obsolescence and the subject of new obligations in the Bill.

  • Repairability of goods: Manufacturers and merchants must ensure that the replacement parts, repair services and information necessary to maintain or repair the goods, including any necessary software, are available for a reasonable period of time. It must be possible to install the replacement parts using commonly available tools and without causing damage to the goods.7
    • However, subject to any contrary provisions laid down by government regulation, a manufacturer or merchant may be released from the obligation to ensure the availability of measures relating to the repairability of the goods by disclosing this fact in writing to the consumer before entering into the contract.
  • Disclosure of repairability of goods: Before entering into a contract with a consumer, manufacturers and merchants must disclose information on the replacement parts, repair services and information necessary to repair the goods in the manner and under the conditions to be prescribed by regulation.8
  • Guarantee of availability of replacement parts: Where applicable, manufacturers and merchants must guarantee the availability of the replacement parts, repair services and information necessary to repair the goods at a reasonable price, i.e., a price that does not discourage the consumer from accessing the goods. A Quebec government regulation may specify cases in which a price is considered to discourage consumer access to replacement parts.9

If a merchant or manufacturer fails to make available the replacement parts, repair services or information necessary to repair the goods, the consumer may require the merchant or manufacturer to repair the goods or, failing that, to replace the goods or reimburse the consumer.10


C. Seriously defective vehicles

In addition to the requirements regarding the duration of the warranty of good working order and the repairability of goods, the Bill introduces “lemon law” provisions through the new concept of a “seriously defective vehicle.” A vehicle may be declared seriously defective if the following criteria are met, creating an irrebuttable presumption that the vehicle is defective:11

a) attempts to repair one or more defects affecting the automobile have been made under the automobile’s basic conventional warranty given gratuitously by the manufacturer, namely:

i. three unsuccessful attempts for the same defect;

ii. one or two unsuccessful attempts for the same defect where the merchant or the manufacturer responsible for performing the warranty has had the automobile in his possession for more than 30 days; or

iii. twelve attempts for unrelated defects;

b) the defects have appeared within three years of the first sale or long-term lease of the automobile where the automobile has not covered more than 60,000 kilometres; and

c) the defects render the automobile unfit for the purposes for which it is ordinarily intended or substantially diminish its usefulness.

d) The presumption of a vehicle defect in such circumstances will thus allow consumers to obtain compensation within the parameters of the law.

e) Other new provisions in the Bill relate to replacement parts for vehicles, free inspections of vehicles at the end of a lease, abnormal wear and tear of parts and disclosure of the fact that a vehicle has been declared a seriously defective vehicle at the time of resale.12


D. Additional warranties

The Consumer Protection Act already provides a framework for the offer and sale of additional warranties (commonly known as “extended warranties”), with mandatory disclosure and delivery of documentation relating to the legal warranty of quality.

Unsurprisingly, the disclosure and documentation requirements in connection with the sale of additional warranties must, where applicable, mention the existence and duration of the warranty of good working order and disclose the information to be required by regulation.13

The Bill also gives consumers the right to terminate an extended warranty contract without cost or penalty within 10 days of its execution by giving the merchant written notice. This period is extended to one year if the merchant has failed to inform the consumer of the existence of the warranty, or other circumstances in the case of a used motor vehicle or motorcycle.14

If an extended warranty contract is terminated, the merchant must reimburse the amount paid by the consumer as soon as possible.


E. New monetary administrative penalties and fines

Presumably to ensure compliance with the new provisions of the Bill and the Consumer Protection Act as a whole, the Bill adds a new chapter introducing monetary administrative penalties.

The Bill provides that the government may, by regulation, determine the objectively observable failures to comply with a provision of the Consumer Protection Act, one of its regulations or a voluntary undertaking that may give rise to a monetary administrative penalty imposed by the president of the Office de la protection du consommateur.15

The conditions for the application of such a penalty and the methods for its calculation will be determined by regulation, but it may not exceed $1,750 in the case of a natural person or $3,500 in the case of a legal entity, for each day that the failure to comply continues.16

The imposition of a monetary administrative penalty may be preceded by a notice of non-compliance to the merchant, requesting that they correct the situation and inviting them to present their observations.17 Otherwise, the monetary administrative penalty will be imposed by means of a notice of claim, which may be challenged before the Tribunal administratif du Québec.18

The Bill also contains new provisions relating to the non-payment of a monetary administrative penalty, including the right to benefit from a legal hypothec on the debtor’s movable and immovable property.19

The Bill amends and updates the possible penalties for any violation of the Consumer Protection Act, notably by increasing the fines for violations, and provides a framework for the due diligence defence of directors, officers, mandataries or representatives when they are personally targeted by an offence.20

* * *

The Bill must now go through the usual approval process in the National Assembly and is likely to be amended along the way.

At this time, it is not known when the new provisions of the Consumer Protection Act will come into force, although the transitional provisions of the Bill provide for the gradual implementation of certain new provisions.

Undoubtedly, the new provisions of the Consumer Protection Act resulting from the Bill will have a significant impact on many Quebec markets.


1  CQLR, c. P-40.1.
2  Bill, section 3 (new sections 38.1 to 38.4 and 38.6 CPA).
3  Bill, section 3 (new section 38.5 CPA).
4  Bill, section 3 (new section 38.7 CPA).
5  Bill, section 3 (new section 38.8 CPA).
6  Bill, section 14 (new sections 227.0.1 and 227.0.2 CPA).
7  Bill, section 4 (new section 39 CPA).
8  Bill, section 4 (new section 39.1 and 39.2 CPA).
9  Bill, section 4 (new section 39.3 CPA).
10 Bill, section 4 (new sections 39.5 and 39.6 CPA).
11  Bill, section 5 (new section 53.1 CPA).
12  Bill, section 150.17.1 and sections 16 and 17 (new sections 237.1 and 260.27.1 CPA).
13  Bill, section 15 (new section 228.2 CPA).
14  Bill, section 15 (new section 228.3 CPA).
15  Bill, section 18 (new section 276.1 CPA).
16  Bill, section 18 (new sections 276.1 and 276.2 CPA).
17  Bill, section 18 (new section 276.3 CPA).
18 Bill, section 18 (new section 276.6 CPA).
19 Bill, section 18 (new sections 276.7 to 276.1 CPA).
20 Bill, section 19 (new sections 277 to 282.1 CPA).