EDMONTON, June 11, 2015 /CNW/ - Watch out curbers: AMVIC will find you. That is the message AMVIC investigators sent with a recent blitz in southern Alberta.
Curbers are individuals or automotive sales businesses operating without an AMVIC licence to sell. All automotive retailers in Alberta must be licensed by AMVIC, the province's automotive regulator.
Late this spring a team of six investigators spent five days cracking down on curbers in Lethbridge, Alta., Taber, Alta. and surrounding areas.
"Tactics ranged from attempting to a buy a vehicle from a suspected curber to more complex, in-depth investigations," Ralph Stotschek, investigations manager of southern Alberta said.
AMVIC's investigators, consumer services and licensing experts spent several months preparing for the covert operation after reviewing consumer complaints and other intelligence.
AMVIC also brought in local police and municipal enforcement in a coordinated effort to shutdown the illegal sellers.
"The curbers we caught come from varied backgrounds," Stotschek said. "Many of them attempted to disguise their identities and locations so unsuspecting buyers would have trouble finding them after the sale."
Curbers may sell vehicles that are poorly repaired and with rolled back odometers. AMVIC-licensed sellers are required to declare a vehicle's history, pass AMVIC's salesperson course and follow Alberta's consumer protection laws.
"Extremely low prices used to be a warning sign that you could be dealing with a curber but as consumers have become more savvy so have curbers," Stotschek said. "The ones we caught used market-value prices to keep up the ruse and minimize suspicions."
AMVIC used director's orders, written warnings and an administrative review to deal with the 17 curbers it found. That includes two AMVIC wholesale licensees who were selling to consumers without an AMVIC retail licence. These curbers were dealt with according to AMVIC's progressive enforcement model which is outlined at amvic.org.
Five additional individuals are being further investigated for possible curbing.
Moving ahead, similar efforts will be used to eliminate curbing in communities like yours, right across the province.
"We are committed to shutting down curbers and we want consumers, industry members and even curious neighbours to warn us about suspected curbers," Stotschek said.
Remember, anyone in the business of selling cars in this province must be licensed—it's the law.
About AMVIC: The Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC) is a regulatory organization authorized by the Minister of Service Alberta to enforce and administer the following legislation in relation to automotive business: the Fair Trading Act; the Automotive Business Regulation; the Cost of Credit Disclosure Regulation, and the Internet Sales Contract Regulation. AMVIC's mandate is to provide consumer protection in Alberta's motor vehicle industry. AMVIC publishes valuable information and tips for consumers, businesses and salespeople at amvic.org.
SOURCE Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC)
For further information: Media inquiries may be directed to: Laura Lowe, Manager of Communications and Education, Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council, 780-468-0476, LLowe@amvic.org