Toronto, ON, January 25, 2019 –A Markham area man and woman are facing dozens of charges related to the alleged illegal sale of vehicles (curbsiding), many with rolled back odometers.

Investigators for OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, found the accused bought 26 vehicles in 2018, many with very high mileage. Then, posing as private sellers, they offered the vehicles for sale on Kijiji. The odometers of many of the vehicles had been rolled back by significant amounts — in some cases, 200,000 to 300,000 kms. Euro Premium Auto Ltd., a corporation directed by one of the accused, was used to acquire many of the vehicles.

In one instance, a 2006 Honda was allegedly sold by the male accused with an odometer reading of 165,000 kms. OMVIC determined the vehicle had been purchased by, and registered to, Euro Premium Auto Ltd., a few months earlier. The odometer reading at that time was 421,000 kms.

In another case, a 2007 Toyota Camry was advertised and sold with 166,000 kms. The vehicle had been purchased four days earlier with an odometer reading of 295,807 kms.

According to OMVIC, the alleged curbsiders arranged for potential buyers to meet them at a rented Unionville home or nearby plazas. “The purchasers thought they were buying relatively low mileage vehicles from genuine private sellers,” explains John Carmichael, OMVIC CEO and Registrar. “Instead, many ended up with vehicles that may be near end-of-life or require unexpected and expensive repairs due to the actual mileage.”


Charges

Charged with 22 counts of curbsiding (acting as a dealer without registration) in violation of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA), and 12 counts of committing an unfair business practice (making a false misleading or deceptive representation), in contravention of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), is Arif Adnan Syed, 36, of Markham.

Charged with eight counts of curbsiding in violation of the MVDA, and seven counts of committing an unfair business practice (making a false misleading or deceptive representation), in contravention of the CPA, is Hafsa Naseer, 23, of Markham.

Charged with 13 counts of curbsiding in violation of the MVDA, and six counts of committing an unfair business practice (making a false misleading or deceptive representation), in contravention to the CPA, is Euro Premium Auto Ltd. Syed is the director of Euro Premium Auto Ltd. Note: Euro Premium Auto Ltd. is not a registered dealer.

All charges are currently before the court – they are only allegations until proven. The accused are schedule to appear in Ontario Divisional Court (Toronto) on March 25 at 9AM.


What should Consumers Do?

Consumers who bought a vehicle from Syed, 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 1-800-943-6002 x3942.


Previous Convictions

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.


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:

  • the vehicle is not registered to seller, or, has only been registered to the seller for a short period of time
  • the vehicle is priced below market value
  • the seller 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
  • the seller refuses to allow an inspection by purchaser’s mechanic
  • the vehicle is not plated and/or insured; therefore, a test-drive is not possible
  • the seller refuses to provide a receipt or proof of purchase

For more information on how to avoid curbsiders click here. To report a suspected curbsider, call 1-888-NO-CURBS (662-8727) or email . Information can be reported anonymously.

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 by some dishonest private sellers.

Devices capable of reprogramming odometers in many of today’s computerized vehicles are readily available online as are “odometer correction services”. These easily accessible methods 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.

Odometer


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, purchasers may want to obtain their own. OMVIC is aware of instances in which sellers have altered a UVIP to remove odometer or lien information. Additionally, as the odometer readings reported on the UVIP are unverified, minor discrepancies 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 the buyer to mechanical issues the seller did not disclose or was unaware 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 tthat 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.


About OMVIC

OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) 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 29,000 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.

 

For More Information Contact:

Terry O’Keefe
Director of Communications
416-226-4500x3525
Terry.Okeefe@omvic.on.ca

 

Farah Mohammed
Senior Education Officer
416-226-4500x3174
Farah.Mohammed@omvic.on.ca