TORONTO, July 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Roberto Iraheta and Roberto Towing & Auto
Services Inc. pleaded guilty Tuesday in Toronto Provincial Offences
Court to two counts each of acting as a dealer without benefit of
registration (curbsiding), contrary to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act
(MVDA) and two counts each of engaging in unfair business practices by
making false, misleading or deceptive statements, contrary to the
Consumer Protection Act (CPA).
In Ontario, all dealers and salespersons must be registered with the
Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC). Unregistered companies,
or individuals who sell motor vehicles as a matter of business, are
considered curbsiders, and are breaking the law. Iraheta was fined
$15,000, and the company $13,000, for curbsiding.
Iraheta was also fined $24,000 and the company $12,000, for making
false, misleading or deceptive statements about the history of the
vehicles sold. This included a false statement about the accident
history of a vehicle and a false statement about the distance a vehicle
Iraheta and Roberto Towing & Auto Services Inc. were charged by OMVIC,
regulator of motor vehicle sales in Ontario, in 2010, after OMVIC
investigators received information vehicles were being sold from 15
Elrose Avenue in Toronto. OMVIC's investigation found approximately 31
vehicles had been sold, some of which were rebuilt insurance
The total fines in this case including 25% Victim Fine Surcharges (VFS)
were $80,000. Iraheta and Roberto Towing and Auto Services Inc. were
given one year to pay. Iraheta was also given two years probation which
included an order that he "not trade in motor vehicles without benefit
of registration under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act".
Curbsiding is a growing problem in Ontario. In this instance the
curbsiding took place at a business, however curbsiders often pose as
private sellers to avoid detection and today's online marketplaces make
it easier for curbsiders to list and sell vehicles with anonymity. It
is estimated 25% of all 'private' classified car advertisements are
actually placed by curbsiders. These illegal sellers often misrepresent
themselves and the vehicles they trade which are frequently accident
damaged (or previous write-offs), odometer tampered or they have liens.
Consumers should understand that if they buy a vehicle privately, or
from a business that is not a registered dealer, they are not protected
by OMVIC or by Ontario Consumer Protection law.
To learn more about curbsiders and how to spot them consumers may visit buywithconfidence.ca.
To report a suspected curbsider: 1-888-NO-CURBS (662-8727) or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) administers and
enforces the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) on behalf of the Ministry of Consumer Services. OMVIC maintains a fair and informed vehicle sales marketplace by
regulating dealers and salespersons, regularly inspecting Ontario's
8,000 dealerships and 24,000 salespeople, maintaining a complaint line
for consumers and conducting investigations and prosecutions. OMVIC is
also responsible for administering the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund on behalf of its Board of Trustees.
SOURCE Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council - OMVIC
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