TORONTO, Dec. 14, 2018 /CNW/ - OMVIC, Ontario's vehicle sales regulator, is warning consumers not to purchase vehicles from Arif Adnan Syed, Hafsa Nasser or Syed's company, Euro Premium Auto Ltd. Note: Euro Premium is not a registered dealer.
OMVIC believes Syed and Nasser are curbsiders— illegal, unlicensed dealers. Operating from a home in central Unionville, the couple are allegedly buying high mileage vehicles and then, posing as private sellers, offering them for sale on Kijiji. The odometers of many of the vehicles sold have been rolled back by significant amounts — in some cases, 200,000 to 300,000 kilometres.
"OMVIC is taking the unusual step of releasing this information while its investigation is ongoing because of the risk these sellers pose to the car-buying public," explained OMVIC CEO and Registrar, John Carmichael. "We believe Syed, Nasser and Euro Premium Auto Ltd. have sold at least 26 cars in 2018, and from the cars lining their driveway, they appear to have more to sell."
One consumer, as recently as November 30th, responded to a Kijiji Ad for a 2007 Toyota Camry with 166,000 kilometres. Priced at $5,000 the car was allegedly shown to the purchaser by Nasser. The vehicle had been purchased from a dealer by Euro Premium Auto Ltd. only four days earlier, with an odometer reading of 295,807.
In another instance, a young woman allegedly dealt with Syed to purchase a 2006 Honda. The car was advertised as having 165,000 kms. The vehicle had been purchased in May 2018 by Euro Premium Auto Ltd. with an odometer reading of 421,000 kilometres.
"Each of the victims interviewed by OMVIC indicated the sellers did not provide the required Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) that could have disclosed historical odometer information", explained Carmichael.
According to OMVIC, these alleged curbsiders arrange for potential buyers to meet them at the Unionville home or nearby plazas. "The purchasers think they're buying a relatively low mileage vehicle from a genuine private seller but end up with a vehicle that may be near end-of-life or require unexpected and expensive repairs due to the actual mileage."
Arif Syed is described as male, 36 years of age, brown complexion, 5'6", stocky build, with short black hair.
Hafsa Nasser is described as female, 23 years of age, brown complexion, 5'1", slight build, with long black hair.
Consumers are warned not to purchase a vehicle from these individuals or Euro Premium Auto Ltd.
Arif Syed was previously charged and prosecuted by OMVIC for curbsiding — in 2015 he was convicted and fined $5,000. Desi Auto Body and Used Parts Ltd. and 1715130 Ontario Inc. operating as Desi Auto Body, two companies directed by Syed, were also convicted at that time of curbsiding and of committing unfair business practices in contravention of the Consumer Protection Act and were fined $12,500 each.
What should Consumers Do?
Consumers who have purchased a vehicle from Arif Adnan Syed, Hafsa Nasser or Euro Premium Auto Ltd. are encouraged to purchase a UVIP or CARFAX Canada report to verify mileage; and, to contact OMVIC's Complaints and Inquiries team at 1-800-9436002x3942.
Publication of this information is made pursuant to Section 27(2) of the General Regulations of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and is intended to protect the public
About Curbsiding The Motor Vehicle Dealers Act requires ALL vehicle dealers and salespeople to be registered with OMVIC. Curbsiders are illegal, unlicensed dealers. Just as curbsiders commonly misrepresent themselves—often posing as private sellers—they frequently misrepresent the vehicles they sell; many are accident-damaged, rebuilt write-offs or odometer-tampered.
While curbsiders commonly pose as private sellers, many sell from small automotive-related businesses like repair centres or body shops. If a consumer is unsure whether a business selling vehicles is actually registered, they should search OMVIC's website, or ask to see the seller's OMVIC licence. If they are unable to produce one, walk away!
How to Spot a Curbsider Curbsiders often use one or more of the following tactics to dupe car buyers:
Vehicle not registered to seller, or, only registered to seller for short period of time
Vehicle priced below market value
Doesn't provide the mandatory Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP), or provides a UVIP that has been tampered with (e.g. lien or mileage info removed) or with missing pages
Refuses inspection by purchaser's mechanic
Vehicle often not plated and/or uninsured; therefore test-drive is not possible
Refuses to provide receipt or proof of purchase
To report a suspected curbsider, call 1-888-NO-CURBS (662-8727) or email [email protected]. Information can be reported anonymously. For more information on how to avoid curbsiders click here.
OMVIC makes information public related to charges and convictions of registrants (dealers/salespeople) and curbsiders. Click here to view.
About Odometer Roll-backs Rolled-back odometers are rarely an issue with vehicles sold by OMVIC-Registered Dealers, in part, because the possible ramifications can be severe; however, odometers are frequently problematic with vehicles sold by curbsiders and even from some dishonest private sellers.
Devices capable of reprogramming the odometer in many of today's computerized vehicles are readily available online for a few hundred dollars. As well, unscrupulous individuals advertise "odometer correction services" on many online marketplaces. These easily accessible methods, unfortunately, mean vehicles with rolled-back odometers are increasingly offered for sale online. Therefore, consumers buying a vehicle privately must be extra vigilant.
Identifying a vehicle with an altered odometer can be very difficult; however, there are steps consumers can take that may help spot them.
Utilize Reports that Contain Historical Odometer Information/Readings
A Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) available from ServiceOntario or a CARFAX Canada history report may contain historical odometer readings. Carefully review these reports before agreeing to turn over any money to a private seller. Note: Private sellers in Ontario are required by law to provide a UVIP to the purchaser; however, a purchaser may want to obtain his/her own. OMVIC is aware of instances in which a seller altered a UVIP to remove odometer or lien information. Additionally, as the odometer readings reported on the UVIP are unverified, minor discrepancies (i.e. a reported reading that is slightly higher than what is shown on the odometer) can exist and may not indicate an actual rollback.
Have the Vehicle Inspected
A pre-purchase inspection by an experienced mechanic/technician may uncover evidence (e.g. unusual wear) that indicates a roll-back. An inspection can also alert a buyer to mechanical issues the seller did not disclose or was not aware of.
Learn to Spot Warning Signs
Vehicles with rolled-back odometers can display signs of advanced wear that are inconsistent with the supposed mileage. Depending on the mileage, this could include:
Worn upholstery or steering wheel
Worn suspension components
Pitted/sand-blasted looking windshield
Worn rubber pad(s) on brake/gas/clutch pedal(s)
Failure by a registered dealer to disclose that a vehicle's odometer does not reflect the true distance a vehicle has travelled is grounds for rescission within 90 days of delivery. Consumers who suspect the odometer of the vehicle purchased from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer has been rolled back should contact OMVIC's Complaints & Inquiries Team. Consumers who purchase a rolled-back vehicle from a curbsider or private seller are not protected by OMVIC's Compensation Fund. While OMVIC may charge and prosecute curbsiders, often the only recourse for private purchasers to obtain financial relief is to find the seller and sue civilly.