Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Canadian Government By Canadians Who Imported Cars From The United States

    TORONTO, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - A class action lawsuit has been filed against
Transport Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, BMW Canada Inc.,
Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. and Mercedes-Benz USA LLC. The lawsuit alleges that
Mercedes, BMW and the government have violated competition and consumer
protection laws by forcing Canadians to pay excessive fees for unnecessary
vehicle modifications and approvals when they imported cars from the United
    Many Canadians want to buy and import a car from the United States, where
prices are lower. As long as specific laws and procedures are followed, a
vehicle can be imported. The lawsuit alleges that Transport Canada made
arrangements with Mercedes, BMW and others to impose additional procedures and
costs on Canadians who import their brands of vehicles.
    The lawsuit was filed by Fournier Leasing Company Ltd. and Canadian Auto
Associates Ltd. They allege that the government made them pay thousands of
dollars to Mercedes and BMW for recall information and unnecessary vehicle
modifications and import approvals. The lawsuit claims that these costs are
not imposed on importers who bring other makes of vehicles into the country
and are not required under Canadian law.
    Fournier Leasing and Canadian Auto Associates also allege that they were
compelled to get modifications done at exorbitant prices by Mercedes and BMW
dealerships instead of at competitive prices by the repair shop of their
choice. They are represented by lawyers Glyn Hotz, Darrel Hotz and Brian
    "The government has one set of rules for Mercedes and BMW and another set
of rules for everyone else," says Mr. (Glyn) Hotz. "You have to get
authorization from Mercedes and BMW to import their cars and you even have to
pay them a fee for their authorization, but you don't need authorization from
other manufacturers."
    The lawsuit seeks recovery of the unnecessary and excessive fees the
government forced Canadians to pay to Mercedes and BMW. The lawsuit also
alleges that people have been paying artificially inflated prices for new
Mercedes vehicles in Canada because the additional costs imposed on importers
restricts competition in the Canadian market.
    "Lots of people want to buy a more competitively priced car from the
U.S.," says Mr. Osler. "But the extra costs and uncertainty forced on
importers by the government, Mercedes and BMW can prevent it from being

For further information:

For further information: Brian Osler, Barrister, Solicitor & Notary
Public, tel: (905) 882-7045, email:; or Glyn Hotz, Barrister
& Solicitor, tel: (416) 785-7883, email:

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