OMVIC has recently received complaints from numerous Electric Vehicle (EV) purchasers whose claims for a rebate under the Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (EVIP) have been denied.
Most of these consumers say the selling dealer assured them their vehicle qualified for an EVIP rebate of between $5,000 and $14,000. However, the consumers have learned that their vehicles did not qualify because the selling dealer did not register the vehicle on the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO’s) Approved Order List by the deadline (July 16, 2018) set by the ministry.
Unfortunately, these consumers also tell OMVIC the selling dealers, whose representations they relied upon, have refused to assist them.
OMVIC is reminding dealers the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) requires dealers to disclose all material facts in writing on a bill of sale. Attainment of a significant rebate would likely be material to most consumers. Clearly, if a vehicle did not qualify for the EVIP (and the customer reasonably believed the vehicle did qualify), the fact the EVIP did not apply should have been clearly and prominently written on the bill of sale. This was explained in a 2018 Bulletin.
As well, OMVIC’s Code of Ethics (CoE) requires dealers and salespeople to be clear and truthful in describing the features, benefits and prices connected with the motor vehicle in which the registrant trades, and in explaining the products, services, programs and prices connected with those vehicles. The CoE also requires that all representations made are legal, decent, ethical and truthful.
Further, the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) prohibits the making of false, misleading or deceptive representations, and consumers who are victims of a false or misleading representation have one year from the date of purchase to rescind the contract. This could apply to a consumer who was told their vehicle qualified for an EVIP rebate and that representation was false.
OMVIC understands the timeline for dealers to register their EV inventory on the MTO Approved Order List was short. However, OMVIC fully expects dealers to take responsibility for all representations made to their customers and to ensure full compliance with the CPA, MVDA and CoE. Failure to do so may result in administrative action including the issuance of a Notice of Discipline or Proposal to Suspend Registration; it could also result in consumers filing claims with the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund.
Dealers seeking more information should contact OMVIC’s Complaints and Inquiries Team at 1-800-943-6002x3942.