Consumer Warning - Sault Ste. Marie Car Dealer Suspended by Regulator

TORONTO, April 21, 2017 /CNW/ - OMVIC, Ontario's vehicle sales regulator, has ordered the IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION of Personal Touch Auto Limited, operated by Gino Burzese, located at 747 Great Northern Road, Sault Ste Marie. As a result, Burzese and Personal Touch Auto Limited may not legally sell, lease, buy or consign vehicles.

According to OMVIC, Immediate Suspensions are only issued when the regulator believes a dealer's conduct may place the car-buying public at risk. Laura Halbert, OMVIC's Director of Compliance and Deputy Registrar, stated the immediate suspension of Personal Touch Auto was triggered following an OMVIC inspection and serious consumer complaints that alleged the dealer:

  • did not deliver a vehicle for which payment was received
     
  • did not pay, or only made partial payments to, consumers whose vehicles were sold by the dealer on a consignment basis
     
  • did not remove liens from vehicles sold or traded in, leaving consumers potentially responsible for the debts
     
  • did not deposit all funds obtained on a consignment basis into a trust account
     
  • did not make required written disclosure about the accident history of some vehicles sold
     
  • did not submit contracts and/or payments for extended warranties leaving customers without warranty protection

  • employed an unregistered salesperson (Chris Pinder)

In conjunction with the suspension order OMVIC also issued Proposals to Revoke the registrations of Personal Touch Auto Limited and Gino Burzese.

Consumers are warned not to buy or lease vehicles from, or sell or consign vehicles to, Personal Touch Auto Limited or Gino Burzese while the dealer's registration is suspended; consumers who trade with an unregistered business or individual are not protected by the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund.

Note: Within 15 days of the issuance of an immediate suspension order a hearing will be held before the Licence Appeal Tribunal. The Tribunal will determine if the order should be extended until a final determination is made regarding the associated Proposal(s) to Revoke Registration.

OMVIC encourages consumers who may have purchased from Personal Touch to ensure their vehicles do not have unexpected liens and that liens on vehicles traded in have been removed. This information can be found by consulting a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP), available from ServiceOntario or on a CarProof Vehicle History Report.

Consumers with questions or concerns should contact OMVIC's Complaints and Inquiries Team at 416-226-4500x3942.

About OMVIC Registration
Ontario's Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) requires all dealers and salespeople be registered with OMVIC. Unregistered selling (curbsiding) is a serious offence: individuals convicted of curbsiding can be fined $50,000 and be jailed for up to two years less a day.

About OMVIC
OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) administers and enforces the Motor VehicleDealers Act (MVDA) on behalf of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. OMVIC maintains a fair and informed vehicle sales marketplace by regulating dealers and salespersons, regularly inspecting Ontario's 8,000 dealerships and 27,900 salespeople, maintaining a complaint line for consumers and conducting investigations and prosecutions (or discipline proceedings) of industry misconduct and illegal sales (curbsiding). OMVIC also administers the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund on behalf of its Board of Trustees.

About the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund
The Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund is funded by Ontario's registered motor vehicle dealers and provides compensation to consumers who have a valid claim against an Ontario-registered dealer. Qualifying consumers may be eligible to receive up to $45,000 for each valid claim to the Compensation Fund. Since its inception on July 1, 1986, the Compensation Fund has reimbursed consumers more than $5 million.

SOURCE Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC)

For further information: Terry O'Keefe, Director of Communications, 416-226-4500 x3525, Terry.Okeefe@omvic.on.ca; Farah Mohammed, Senior Education Officer, 416-226-4500 x3174, farah.mohammed@omvic.on.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.omvic.on.ca

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Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC)

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