An Oakville dealership and four of its staff were fined a total of $21,500 for breaching the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) Code of Ethics.
Oakville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Ltd., Reg Nimeck, Gordon Nimeck, Andrew De Clavasio and Camillio Comparone were disciplined by OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, for failing to comply with Ontario’s all-in price advertising regulation.
A Discipline Panel heard the dealer advertised a 2017 Ram with a price of $51,488. The dealer then attempted to sell the vehicle to a consumer, adding a $399 administration fee and $10 OMVIC fee to the advertised price, a violation of the MVDA and Code of Ethics. The dealer argued the attempted sale was a wholesale transaction, not to a consumer, and that therefore the all-in price advertising regulations did not apply. The Panel disagreed finding, in part, the dealer:
- used a retail bill of sale
- referred to the purchaser as a “customer”
- wrote “No Trade” on the bill of sale, an element of retail transactions
- charged a $10 OMVIC fee, when no such fee exists for wholesale transactions
- sold a tire and rim protection package
- took a deposit from the purchaser
Previous Discipline Decisions
Oakville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Ltd. was previously fined $2,000 in 2015, and $3,500 in 2018, for failing to comply with Ontario’s all-in price advertising requirements, which, according to the Discipline Panel, led to “no significant change in policy or procedure to ensure compliance with all-in pricing going forward”.
As the previous penalties had little deterrent effect, the Panel ordered:
- Oakville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Ltd. to pay a fine of $10,500
- General Manager and Owner, Reg Nimeck to pay a fine of $4,000
- Owner, Gordon Nimeck to pay a fine of $4,000
- Salesperson, Camillio Comparone to pay a fine of $2,000
- Salespeson, Andrew De Clavasio to pay a fine of $1,000
Each of the individuals was also ordered to retake the OMVIC Certification Course.
“The all-in price advertising regulations are meant to provide transparency to consumers and to create a level playing field for all dealers. Failure to abide by the requirements is not only illegal, it is unfair to consumers and unfair to every dealer who plays by the rules,” said John Carmichael, OMVIC’s CEO and Registrar. “These penalties will hopefully serve as a deterrent to prevent further breaches.”
About All-in Price Advertising
If a motor-vehicle dealer advertises a price for a vehicle (new or used), the MVDA requires that the price include ALL fees and charges the dealer intends to collect.
Examples of fees or charges that must be included in an advertised price include:
- PDI-PDE (pre-delivery inspection/expense)
- Administration (Admin) fee(s)
- Government levies (air tax, etc.)
- OMVIC fee
- Safety and e-test (unless the ad contains an "Unfit Vehicle" or "As-Is Vehicle" disclosure statement)
Products or services that have been pre-installed on a vehicle by a dealer MUST also be included in the advertised price. Examples include:
- Nitrogen/tire protection package
- Security or theft deterrent products/services (etching, etc.)
While dealers must include all fees and charges in an advertised price, these fees and charges must be listed separately and itemized on the bill of sale.
Note: OMVIC does not regulate vehicle manufacturers; therefore, advertisements placed by manufacturers do not have to comply with the MVDA and all-in pricing is not required in manufacturer ads. That said, some manufacturers voluntarily comply with the all-in pricing provision and commendably provide transparency to consumers.