MONTREAL, July 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Quebec's Office de la protection du
consommateur (OPC) and the Automobile Protection Association announced a
favourable ruling in a class action over fees charged by Toyota Canada to
transfer extended warranties. Toyota charged from $25 to $200 to transfer its
Extra-Care extended warranty to second and subsequent owners. The decision by
Quebec's Court of Appeal is now final, since Toyota did not request permission
to appeal within the permitted 60 day delay.
The APA and the OPC argued that warranty transfer fees are prohibited
under Quebec's Consumer Protection Act, which requires the warranty to follow
the automobile automatically. The Court of Appeal panel of three judges
unanimously upheld that position, reversing an earlier decision in favour of
Toyota by the Superior Court.
"This decision confirms the principle that auto warranties are attached
to the vehicle and follow it automatically when the vehicle is resold or
transferred," said APA President George Iny. Marc Migneault, a lawyer with
Quebec's OPC added that "the Court of Appeal recognized that, not just
automakers, but all types of manufacturers and businesses cannot offer less
coverage in their warranties than required by law in Quebec."
The decision affects consumers who paid to transfer a Toyota vehicle
warranty between March 31, 1996 and February 29, 2000. (Subsequently, Toyota
dropped its warranty transfer fees across Canada.) Toyota estimates
6,000 consumers in Quebec are affected, and are owed a total of about
$300,000. The Court of Appeal has sent the case back to Superior Court to
determine the actual number of claims and amounts owed to consumers.
APA President George Iny said it is too early for consumers to send a
claim to Toyota, as the case is still before the courts. The APA recommends
consumers who believe they are entitled to a refund and have not already
contacted the Association, should do so via the APA website at www.apa.ca.
For further information:
For further information: Jean Jacques Préaux, OPC, (418) 643-1484 ext.
2254; George Iny or Antoinette Greco, APA, (514) 273-1662