Alberta Transportation is recalling 39 vehicles after an investigation determined the vehicles were deemed roadworthy without proper vehicle testing by a mechanic.

47-year-old Baltej Dhaliwal is alleged to have signed salvage inspection certificates without inspecting the vehicles that had recently been involved in crashes.

According to police, Dhaliwal specialized in salvage inspections and did work for a number of repair shops. Dhaliwal faces 39 counts of knowingly entering or recording false documentation.

The 39 vehicles will be inspected to ensure they are safe to be driven in Alberta. The owners will not be charged for the cost of the inspection.

The Calgary Police Service Auto Theft Unit investigation is being conducted in partnership with Alberta Transportation Vehicle Safety Investigator. The investigation targets local repair shops to ensure inspection certificates are legitimate and to disrupt vehicle cloning.

“Vehicle cloning is certainly becoming a big problem in Calgary, that’s our focus when we’re going into these shops with Alberta Transportation,” says Staff Sergeant Robert Rutledge of the CPS Auto Theft Unit. 

Vehicle cloning is the act of changing the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on a stolen vehicle to match the VIN of a vehicle of the same make and model.  The stolen vehicle with the incorrect VIN is often registered and sold to an unsuspecting buyer.   

Staff Sergeant Rutledge says the investigation, which began in August of 2012, has determined the majority of Calgary’s repair shops are conducting legitimate vehicle inspections.

“Most businesses in Calgary are following the legislation, we need to clamp down on the ones that aren’t.”

Staff Sergeant Rutledge says charges are expected to be laid against other mechanics.