VSA

Registrar's Decision

Registrar's Decision 08-70997

File Number: 08-70997

In the matter of THE MOTOR DEALER ACT R.S.B.C.1996 C.316
and THE BUSINESS PRACTICES AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT S.B.C. 2004 c.2

Complainant: MARSHALL ANSELMO

Licensee/Unlicensed person:

PARKWOOD AUTO SALES LTD. AND MARC-JAN BEUNE

Issues:

  • The consumer purchased a Jeep from Parkwood.
  • On his way home to Victoria, the Jeep’s air bag light came on.
  • Within days of the purchase, the Jeep was diagnosed by a Chrysler dealer as having a fault with the air bag and the interior heaters. The air bag light was not on at the time Chrysler diagnosed the problem.
  • The following day, the Jeep failed a Private Vehicle Inspection (PVI) for four reasons, including the air bag light being on.
  • Parkwood repaired three of these deficiencies, and the vehicle passed a PVI.
  • Parkwood admitted it did not make its statutory declaration that the Jeep complied with the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Act.
  • Prior to the hearing, the Jeep was inspected a second time after Parkwood’s repairs. The Jeep failed another Private Vehicle Inspection for two related and two unrelated reasons.

Outcome:

  • A motor dealer has a positive duty to ensure the motor vehicles it sells meets the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Act and its regulations or if it does not, to declare to the consumer that the vehicle is unsuitable for transportation.
  • Where a motor dealer is silent about the motor vehicles fitness for transportation, a consumer may rely on such silence as an implied representation that the motor vehicle meets the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Act and is suitable for transportation: see Pirvulescu v. Parkwood et al.
  • Parkwood purchased the Jeep through Adesa. Adesa announced an issue with the air bag light. An invoice from Adesa found in the dealer’s file confirmed this.
  • Parkwood could have investigated the air bag light.
  • Parkwood’s implied representation was that the Jeep was suitable for transportation and meeting the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Act. It did not and that constituted a deceptive act or practice.
  • Under the specific facts of this case, the deceptive act was negligent and not deliberate.
  • Mr. Anselmo was awarded incidental damages for the inspections that he had paid in the amount of $264.83. Mr. Anselmo did not seek anything further.
  • Parkwood was assessed a $10,000 administrative penalty. Representing a vehicle as suitable for transportation, when it is not, and without doing an inspection is serious and cannot be condoned. Parkwood’s steps to fix the issues were a factor to reducing the administrative penalty.
  • Mr. Beune made the misrepresentations through his conduct. As owner, his access to information was not constrained like his salespersons. His administrative penalty was $500.00.
  • Parkwood and Mr. Beune are jointly and severally liable to reimburse the VSA $1,393.23 for its investigation and hearing costs.
  • See the case of Re Parkwood Auto Sales Ltd & Beune & Hawes August 6, 2010 for a decision regarding Parkwood’s registration and Mr. Hawes’ and Mr. Beune’s salesperson licenses.

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