Consumer Line

July 2015

OMVIC Message


In This Issue

  • In the market for a new or used car? Thinking of trading yours in? Find out what disclosures dealers must make, and what YOU must disclose about your trade-in!

  • Illegal car sales, rolled back odometers, nets Toronto man $11,000 fine

  • Kim Lambert named OMVIC’s new Executive Director

  • Historic fine and recall ordered for Fiat Chrysler

Auto Talk

Historic Fine and Recall Ordered for Fiat Chrysler

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently fined Fiat Chrysler $105 million and ordered the auto manufacturer to offer buy backs for 500,000 Dodge Ram pickup trucks and to repair 1.5 million Jeeps. According to NHTSA, the recalls are related to suspension/steering problems for certain Dodge Rams and to address issues for some Jeeps “that are prone to deadly fires” in rear-end collisions.

Transport Canada has not taken similar action in Canada as of yet. Concerned vehicle owners can visit Transport Canada’s Defect Investigations and Recalls webpage or contact them at 1-800-333-0510. A Defect Complaint Form is also available online.

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In the market for a new or used car? Thinking of trading yours in? Find out what disclosures dealers must make, and what YOU must disclose about your trade-in!

Did you know dealers by law must disclose incident or collision repair damage over $3,000? But did you also know YOU as a consumer are supposed to make the same disclosure if it applies to a vehicle you’re trading in?

“The Motor Vehicle Dealers Act sets out explicit information a dealer must disclose related to a vehicle’s past use, history and condition,” explains Terry O’Keefe, OMVIC Director of Communications. “Proper disclosure provides transparency to consumers and lets them make informed decisions”.

Required Disclosures

There are 22 required disclosures dealers must include in writing on the bill of sale. Some of the most common are:

  • If the vehicle has been in an incident or collision resulting in more than $3,000 damage (and the total cost of repair)
  • Previous use of the vehicle as a daily rental (unless the vehicle has subsequently been owned by someone other than a dealer)
  • If the vehicle requires repairs to major components (engine, transmission, power train, sub frame/suspension, computer, electrical system, fuel system, air conditioning)
  • If the vehicle has been branded (irreparable, salvage or rebuilt) or declared a total loss
  • If the vehicle has been registered outside of Ontario, and where within the last seven years

How do Dealers Know the Vehicle’s History?

Many dealers obtain important information related to accident history, previous out-of-province registration and odometer readings from vehicle history reports such as CarProof or CARFAX.

Dealers are also expected to exercise due diligence in providing proper disclosure to consumers, which can include:

  • Conducting thorough inspections of all vehicles
  • Using a paint gauge to identify painted panels and possible repairs
  • Collecting required information from customers trading vehicles in

This last point may surprise some consumers. Dealers are legally required to collect information about vehicles they accept on trade, so that they can provide proper disclosure when they resell the vehicle. Consumers should therefore expect the dealer to ask questions and complete paperwork related to any vehicles they trade-in. In most cases, consumers will be asked to acknowledge in writing that the disclosures they’ve provided are truthful and accurate.

Mandatory Disclosures - ONLY when Buying From a Dealer

The mandatory written disclosures are an important part of the protections provided by Ontario’s consumer protection law, but they only apply when buying from a registered dealer. There are no mandatory disclosure requirements for private sales. “If a consumer chooses to buy privately, they need to take extra precautions and conduct thorough research on the vehicle before sealing the deal.”


Illegal Car Sales, Rolled Back Odometers, Nets Toronto Man $11,000 Fine

Zhijun Wang of Toronto was fined $11,000 after pleading guilty to charges of curbsiding (acting as a motor vehicle dealer without registration) in violation of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and breaching the Consumer Protection Act by committing an unfair business practice. The charges were the result of an undercover investigation conducted by OMVIC.

Posing as consumers, OMVIC Investigators responded to advertisements placed in online marketplaces. In one instance the advertised vehicle was a 2007 Toyota Camry with an odometer reading 95,860 kms. OMVIC’s investigation showed the actual distance the vehicle had travelled was approximately 201,283 kms. A second OMVIC Investigator responded to an ad for a 2009 Infiniti sedan with an odometer reading 67,000 kms; however the true distance the vehicle had travelled was approximately 179,615 kms. In each instance the undercover OMVIC officer was invited to view the vehicle at a plaza on Sheppard Avenue East in Toronto. Wang provided a false name to both undercover shoppers and on one occasion provided false ID. Neither of the cars was actually registered in his name.

According to Terry O’Keefe, OMVIC Director of Communications and Education, these are common tactics used by curbsiders (illegal, unlicensed car dealers). “Often the vehicles they sell are not registered in their name or have only been registered in their name for a short period of time. And commonly the vehicles sold are rebuilt wrecks with undisclosed accident repairs or rolled-back odometers.”

How to Spot a Curbsider

Curbsiders often use one or more of the following tactics to dupe car-buyers:

  • Vehicle priced below market value
  • Vehicle not registered to seller or only registered to seller for short period
  • Seller doesn’t provide vehicle history report (CarProof or CARFAX)
  • Seller doesn’t have Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) for review. Note: UVIP’s provide some historical odometer data
  • Seller refuses inspection by purchaser’s mechanic
  • Vehicle often not plated or is uninsured; therefore test-drive is not possible
  • Seller refuses to provide receipt or proof of purchase

Curbsider Convictions

To date in 2015, 29 individuals/businesses have been convicted for curbsiding; 70 additional cases are currently before the courts.

To report a suspected curbsider, call 1-888-NO-CURBS (662-8727) or email

Visit OMVIC’s website to view a list of recent curbsider convictions.


Kim Lambert Named OMVIC’s New Executive Director

Kim Lambert OMVIC’s Executive Director

Kim Lambert has been named OMVIC Executive Director replacing OMVIC’s founding Executive Director and Registrar, Carl Compton, who retires July 31st.

“OMVIC has a stellar reputation amongst regulators, the Ministry, industry and consumers – they really are the gold standard,” said Kim, “I can’t tell you how excited I am to join the OMVIC Team and continue the incredible work they do for Ontario’s consumers and dealers.”

Kim’s background includes over a decade in senior management positions in the public sector. Most recently, she headed the driver licensing programs with the Ministry of Transportation, which included compliance with principal private sector contractors responsible for program delivery. In previous positions, Kim provided oversight of GO Transit operations and compliance related to the contract with the 407 ETR concession company. She also served as interim Chief Administrative Officer for Metrolinx.

Welcome Kim!

OMVIC Contact

OMVIC 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 25,000 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.