While the vast majority of consumer/dealer transactions go well, there are rare instances when problems occur. OMVIC provides information (see below) that often helps consumers and dealers address the problem without the need for escalation to formal complaint conciliation. If those steps fail, consumers can request the direct involvement of an OMVIC Complaint Handler.
Before filing a complaint with OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Team, consumers should follow these steps:
1- Contact the dealership directly
- Contact the dealer to try and work out a reasonable solution (ask to speak with the owner, General Manager or a person in charge of day-to-day operations)
- Be respectful, polite and firm. While problem-solving can be stressful, maintaining civil communications can be the key to finding an amicable solution
- Be clear about the solution sought
- In some instances consumers should be prepared to compromise
- Keep copies of all documents: advertisements, work sheets, contracts, loan agreements, safety certificates, etc.
- Keep a written record of all contacts with the dealer including names, dates and times
2- Send a registered letter
If the matter remains unresolved after contacting the dealership, send a registered letter to the dealer outlining the issue and proposed solution. Include copies of pertinent documents.
It is important that a consumer send a letter to the dealership by registered mail or obtain proof of delivery. Registered mail refers to a form of postal service that provides a tracking number e.g. Express Post. Courier companies may also offer tracking services for deliveries.
The letter should be kept professional, clear and concise, and if possible, no longer than one page. The final paragraph should outline a time frame (e.g. 5-7 business days from the date of receipt by the dealership) for a response. The letter should be addressed to the General Manager or owner of the dealership. If the consumer doesn’t have this information, OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Team can assist.
3- Contact OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Team
If the problem remains unresolved after following the steps above the consumer should contact OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Team in one of three ways:
Consumers may also find answers to frequently asked questions.
REMEMBER: OMVIC has no jurisdiction over private sales, manufacturers or independent repair facilities.
Pre-Purchase Questions? An Educated Consumer is a Protected Consumer!
Consumers can contact OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Team for information, even before purchasing or leasing a vehicle. Avoid problems by becoming educated. The Complaints and Inquiries Team can be reached at 1-800-943-6002 x3942 or by email at
. These services are provided free of charge to all Ontarians. A translation service is also available at no cost.
If you think your vehicle has a manufacturing defect and is less than five years old, you may qualify for arbitration through the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan (CAMVAP). For more information, visit CAMVAP.ca. Please note OMVIC does not regulate and has no jurisdiction over manufacturers.
Curbsiders are illegal, unlicensed dealers who commonly pose as private sellers, though many operate from small automotive related businesses such as repair shops. Often the vehicles they sell are rebuilt write-offs or are odometer tampered. Consumers who have dealt with a seller who appeared to be in the business of buying or selling vehicles but isn't registered with OMVIC, may have dealt with a curbsider. While OMVIC can investigate/prosecute curbsiding, consumers who purchase from a curbsider are deemed to have conducted a private transaction and therefore OMVIC’s Complaint Handlers cannot assist.
- Click here to report a curbsider.