Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council

Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council

January 25, 2010 14:50 ET

Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council: Illegal Vehicle Sales Lead to Prison Term and Fine

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 25, 2010) - The Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) reports Eric Stiles and his numbered company have plead guilty to 30 counts of trading in a motor vehicle without the benefit of registration (known in the industry as curbsiding). Stiles was sentenced to one year in prison and the company was fined $375,000 (inclusive of victim surcharge).

Stiles was charged under the previous Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) and his one-year prison sentence represents the maximum sentence under that Act. A new MVDA, which increases minimum fines to $2,500 per count and doubles maximum jail sentences, went into effect January 1, 2010.

"Curbsiders have made a business out of selling damaged vehicles to unsuspecting car buyers. Stiles' fine is a significant win for Ontario's consumers and registered dealers and makes a very clear statement that curbsider activity is not tolerated in the province," says Council spokesperson Brenda McIntyre.

Stiles was the subject of a prior OMVIC investigation related to his unregistered activities. Fines imposed on him and his companies in 2004 totalled $159,375.

In Ontario, all motor vehicle dealers and salespeople must be registered under the MVDA before engaging in the trade of a motor vehicle.

Curbsiders are unlicensed dealers in the business of selling cars, but who pose as private sellers. The vehicles they sell are often misrepresented, accident-damaged, odometer-tampered, stolen, or have liens against them. Few consumers realize curbsiders represent more than 25% of used car classifieds.

Consumers who purchase vehicles through unregistered dealers are not protected by provincial legislation. Consumers can identify registered dealers by the blue and yellow "Ontario-registered dealer" decal posted on dealership doors or windows, or by asking dealers for their OMVIC registration. Consumers can also find out if a dealer is Ontario-registered by contacting OMVIC or by searching for a registered dealer online at BuyWithConfidence.ca.

About OMVIC

OMVIC licenses and regulates motor vehicle dealers in Ontario and enforces 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 salespersons, 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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