Toronto, ON, March 22, 2023 – The registrar of the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC), Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, has ordered the immediate suspension of Echo Auto Group Inc., located at 80 Toro Road in North York, and of the dealership’s director, Mehran Artinian.
As a result, Mehran Artinian and Echo Auto Group Inc. cannot legally sell, lease, buy or consign vehicles while the indefinite suspension remains in effect. The Registrar has also initiated proceedings to permanently terminate their registrations under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, 2002.
Consumers are warned not to buy or lease vehicles from, or sell or consign vehicles to, Mehran Artinian and Echo Auto Group Inc. while their registrations are suspended. Consumers who trade with an unregistered business or individual are not protected by the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund.
“OMVIC is taking the unusual step of ordering the immediate suspension of Echo Auto Group Inc. and the dealership’s director Mehran Artinian due to the serious risk we have identified for the car-buying public,” explained OMVIC CEO and Registrar, Maureen Harquail. “Our primary role as Ontario’s motor vehicle sales regulator is consumer protection and we take that responsibility very seriously. One way that we deliver on that priority is to ensure the highest standards of compliance for motor vehicle dealers and salespersons and when we identify real or potential consumer harm, we take action with the tools that are available to us.”
The immediate suspensions of Mehran Artinian and Echo Auto Group Inc. were triggered following an OMVIC inspection and serious consumer complaints that alleged that the dealer:
- Failed to discharge liens registered against vehicles traded by Echo Auto Group Inc.
- Failed to deliver vehicles to customers.
- Failed to pay wholesale dealers for the purchase of vehicles.
Echo Auto Group Inc.’s consumers who have experienced losses related to lien non-payouts and undelivered vehicles may be entitled to make a claim for reimbursement through OMVIC’s Motor Vehicle Dealer’s Compensation Fund. To see if you are eligible to receive financial assistance from the Compensation Fund, contact OMVIC at 1-800-943-6002 ext. 3552 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OMVIC encourages consumers who may have purchased from Echo Auto Group Inc. to ensure that their vehicles do not have unexpected liens registered against them, and that any liens on vehicles they traded in to Echo Auto Group Inc. have been removed. This information can be found by consulting a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP), available from Service Ontario or on a CARFAX Vehicle History Report.
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 30,000 salespeople, maintaining a consumer support line for consumers and conducting investigations and prosecutions (or discipline proceedings) 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.