TORONTO, June 9, 2015 /CNW/ - 1716114 Ontario Ltd. operating as Your Car Auto Finance (YCAF) and its sole officer and director, Derek Booth, have had their licences revoked after Ontario's vehicle sales regulator, OMVIC, issued a Proposal to Revoke Registration and the dealer abandoned its appeal. In a related discipline proceeding, Scott Edwards, a former salesperson at YCAF, was found in breach of OMVIC's Code of Ethics and fined $12,500.
In its Proposal OMVIC alleged YCAF and Booth failed, in a timely manner, to remove liens from vehicles traded-in. This resulted in consumers making unnecessary payments or receiving unwarranted enquiries/demands from financial institutions. In one instance it was alleged the dealership sold a vehicle and did not discharge an existing lien. OMVIC also alleged the dealer provided bills of sale with odometer readings that were often lower than the readings shown on other documents in the dealer's possession and on other historical odometer records.
In addition, OMVIC alleged financial terms and sale prices for the vehicles provided on some customers' bills of sale differed from those in the dealer's records. "Our inspection and subsequent follow-up uncovered a business model we believe was heavily weighted towards soliciting business from financially disadvantaged consumers who were deceived regarding vehicle history and financing issues. Many of these consumers were from First Nations reserves in remote Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia communities," explained Laura Halbert, OMVIC Director of Compliance. "In speaking to some of these consumers it was clear they never saw their vehicles in advance of delivery and most didn't immediately scrutinize the documentation." The dealer and Booth avoided detection until OMVIC inspection activities uncovered the problems.
One of the dealership's salespeople, Scott Edwards, was involved in many of the suspect transactions. In an Agreed Statement of Facts before OMVIC's Discipline Committee, Edwards admitted breaching OMVIC's Code of Ethics. He specifically acknowledged his failure to meet legal duties, including his professional obligation to prevent errors, misrepresentations, fraud and unethical practices. In addition to the fine Edwards was ordered to successfully complete the OMVIC Certification Course. He is currently employed at an unrelated GTA dealership.
OMVIC is aware of one consumer who purchased a vehicle with an undischarged lien from Booth. "We have successfully worked with the finance company on the consumer's behalf to resolve that problem," explained Halbert. However OMVIC wants to ensure there are no other consumers unknowingly caught in a similar situation and recommends ALL Your Car Auto Finance customers do the following:
- Check with their bank/finance company to ensure liens were removed from vehicles they may have traded-in to YCAF
- Conduct a lien check on vehicles purchased from YCAF
- Contact their finance company to confirm the finance terms/details on their loan documentation matches those of the finance company
- Confirm the odometer reading on the Bill of Sale is consistent with both the finance company's documents and historical odometer records. Note: Lien and historical odometer information can often be found in the Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) available from Service Ontario and in online vehicle history reports such as CarProof.
- If an extended warranty was purchased, check with the warranty company to confirm coverage and terms
Should a consumer discover serious discrepancies they should contact OMVIC's Complaints and Inquiries Team at 1-800-943-6002 x5105. Consumers who suffer a financial loss as a result of a trade with an OMVIC-Registered Dealer may have access to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund.
OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) administers and enforces the Motor Vehicle Dealers 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 26,000 salespeople, maintaining a complaint line for consumers and conducting investigations and prosecutions of industry misconduct and illegal sales (curbsiding). OMVIC is also responsible for administering 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 fully 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 paid out more than $5 million to consumers. In 2011, the Compensation Fund celebrated 25 years of providing advanced consumer protection to Ontarians.
SOURCE Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC)
Image with caption: "Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) (CNW Group/Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150311_C4573_PHOTO_EN_13063.jpg
For further information: Terry O'Keefe, Director of Communications, 416-226-4500 x3525, Terry.Okeefe@omvic.on.ca; Sarah Choudhury, Sr. Communications Officer, 416-226-4500 x3172, Sarah.Choudhury@omvic.on.ca