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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Ottawa-area man fined $40,000 for illegally selling rebuilt wrecks, many without airbags

Jun 23

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Friday, June 23, 2017  RssIcon

Ottawa-area man fined $40,000 for illegally selling rebuilt wrecks, many without airbags

An Ottawa-area man was convicted on 36 counts of illegally selling motor vehicles, many with missing airbags.

Ahmad Moussa, sole director of Quality Motors, 1417 Cyrville Road in Ottawa, was charged by OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, with curbsiding — acting as a dealer without registration.

OMVIC’s investigation showed Moussa purchased vehicles that had been written off by insurance companies from a salvage auction between January 2013 and September 2016. In many instances the vehicles’ airbags had deployed. In at least seven of these vehicles Moussa did not replace the airbags — typically an expensive repair, costing between $1,500 and $2,000 per airbag — before selling the “repaired” vehicles to consumers.

As a result of its investigation, OMVIC was able to notify 50 purchasers who’d bought from Moussa of the potential safety issue so they could have their vehicles’ airbags inspected.

“While OMVIC can prosecute curbsiders, there is little protection for consumers who buy from them,” said John Carmichael, OMVIC’s Chief Executive Officer and Registrar. “Only consumers who buy from a registered dealer are protected by Ontario’s consumer protection legislation and the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund.”

This is why it’s important for consumers to understand that not every business selling cars is doing it legally. To confirm that a business is actually a registered dealer, consumers can search the business name at omvic.ca, check that their OMVIC certificate is displayed or ask to see the dealer’s or salesperson’s OMVIC licence.

              

“If they’re not registered, run, don’t walk; and please report them to us,” stated Carmichael.

Moussa pled guilty to 36 counts of curbsiding and was fined $40,000. He was ordered to pay $10,000 immediately and was given two years to pay the remaining $30,000. Moussa was also sentenced to two years of probation. 

About Curbsiding

Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Dealers Act requires all vehicle dealers and salespeople be registered with OMVIC. Curbsiders are illegal, unlicensed vehicle dealers who commonly pose as private sellers, though some operate from automotive related businesses such as gas stations, repair shops or rental companies. Just as curbsiders commonly misrepresent themselves, they often misrepresent the vehicles they sell; many are previous write-offs with undisclosed accident repairs or are odometer-tampered.

Research conducted by OMVIC found 25% of online “for sale by owner” vehicle ads were placed by curbsiders.

How to Spot a Curbsider

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

  • Vehicle is not registered to the seller or has only been registered to seller for a short period
  • Vehicle is priced below market value
  • Doesn’t provide a vehicle history report (CarProof); or information/pages are missing
  • Refuses inspection by the purchaser’s mechanic
  • Vehicle is often not plated and/or uninsured; therefore a test drive is not possible
  • Doesn’t provide a receipt or proof of purchase
  • Doesn’t provide the mandatory Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP), or provides a UVIP that has been tampered with (e.g. lien or mileage information removed, or pages missing

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