Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council

Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council

August 05, 2009 12:17 ET

Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council: Discipline Panel Fines Dealer $10,000 for Failing to Disclose Vehicle Histories

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 5, 2009) - An Owen Sound area dealer has been found in breach of the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council's (OMVIC) Code of Ethics and fined the maximum penalty, $10,000. OMVIC's disciplinary panel found Chatsworth Motor Sales Ltd. (of Chatsworth Ontario) sold vehicles to consumers without disclosing relevant and important facts of the vehicles histories: facts that, had they been disclosed, might have affected the consumers decisions to purchase the vehicles, or the determination of the fair value of the vehicles. Evidence presented showed four vehicles sold by Chatsworth Motor Sales Ltd. had previously been used as daily rentals and two others had undisclosed accident repairs. This information was known by the dealer, but was not disclosed to the purchasers. Failure to make purchasers aware of this important information denied them the opportunity to make an informed decision and contravenes sections 2.4.1 and 2.5.1 of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice.

The disciplinary panel also heard evidence claiming this was not the first time Chatsworth Motor Sales Ltd. failed to make proper disclosure of the history of vehicles it sold. In 2006 an OMVIC inspection allegedly found the dealer neglected to inform purchasers of previous accident repairs and/or daily rental use of four vehicles sold in 2006. At the time, the dealership was censured and reminded of the obligation to provide proper disclosure to purchasers. This alleged repeat pattern was one of the reasons the maximum penalty was sought in the recent disciplinary hearing. According to OMVIC Spokesperson Brenda McIntyre, "In order to make an informed decision, consumers need to know the full history of that vehicle - and that's the dealer's obligation. We are pleased to see the Panel sought to demonstrate the importance of this by imposing the maximum penalty."

In its decision, the Panel also ordered the dealer and licensed staff to successfully complete the OMVIC certification course on automotive law and ethics within 120 days and the dealership is to be inspected twice in the next 12 months to ensure compliance.

OMVIC requires all dealers to act with honesty, integrity and in accordance with the law based on its Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice. The Code and Standards were created to establish minimum standards of business conduct for the benefit of the industry and the public. Dealers who disregard OMVIC's Code of Ethics are subject to having their conduct reviewed and possible disciplinary action by the Panel.

About OMVIC

OMVIC licences and regulates motor vehicle dealers in Ontario and administers the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act on behalf of the Minister of Consumer Services. OMVIC's mandate is to maintain a fair, safe and informed marketplace by ensuring registration of dealers and salespeople, inspecting dealerships, maintaining a complaint line for consumers, conducting investigations and enforcing the act and its associated rules and regulations. OMVIC is also responsible for administering the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund on behalf of a Board of Trustees.

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