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rob's garage

Hello,

My aging Dad is now a passenger in his car, a 2007 Toyota Camry. Even with the seat pushed back and tilted, he has a problem getting in and out of the seat, as he can barely bend his right knee to get his leg past the front door support.

My folks have recently started looking at other vehicles that might have more room, but haven't had much luck if finding something more suitable.

I think that having the seat moved back by up to 4 inches would be the perfect solution. Can you tell me if this is possible and if so, who do we turn to next?

Thank you for your consideration, Sharron

Sharron, good on you to ask the question. So many people have modifications done to vehicles without a thought to implications, which can range from someone getting hurt in an accident, to voiding warranty requirements or contravening federal or provincial motor vehicle acts.

Transport Canada administers the federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) to regulate vehicle manufacturing and importing to Canada, ensuring that vehicles are safe for both passengers and the environment.

According to Maryse Durette, Senior Advisor, Media Relations, at Transport Canada, "Where the vehicle is a used vehicle, such as the 2007 Toyota Camry in question, the federal Act does not apply. Any modifications to seat anchorage points which could affect whether the restraint systems still work as designed, fall under provincial jurisdiction, however, individual provinces may or may not regulate the safety of such modifications."

Here's the rub Sharron, to ensure a quality job that does not impede the seat belt operation or affect the air bag sensors, make sure you ask around at reputable shops. I would start with shops that perform federal inspections for imported vehicles. Living in British Columbia, you also have access to shops that perform provincial vehicle inspections – I would try these shops as well.

By doing this, you should be able to safely accommodate your father's needs.

Send your automotive maintenance and repair questions to Globe Drive experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com

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