VSA

Registrar's Decision

Registrar's Decision 19-07-004

File Number: 19-07-004

In the matter of Motor Dealer Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, C. 316
and Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, S.B.C. 2004, c. 2

Complainant: Vehicle Sales Authority of BC

Licensee/Unlicensed person:
Barnes Wheaton (North Surrey) Chevrolet Buick GMC Ltd. (#31268) and Devron Donald Quast (#103747)

Issues:

Issues:
Introduction:

On January 20, 2020, the Registrar made findings that Barnes Wheaton (North Surrey) Chevrolet Buick GMC Ltd. (“Barnes”) and Devron Donald Quast (“Mr. Quast”) deliberately committed a deceptive act or practice contrary to section 5(1) of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (“BPCPA”).

The main concern was that Mr. Quast on behalf of Barnes, arranged to have a GMC Sierra diesel vehicle pass a legally required Provincial Private Vehicle Inspection, when they knew the vehicle would not pass that inspection. Certain components of the Sierra’s diesel emissions system had been removed making it not compliant with the Motor Vehicle Act.
The Registrar ordered a separate hearing process to address Barnes’ and Mr. Quast’s non-compliance resulting in this decision.

Issue(s):

  • The issue for decision in this hearing was what, if any, compliance action should be taken.

Outcome:

  • A. Devron Quast
    After considering Mr. Quast’s past conduct, Mr. Quast’s submissions and evidence, and given his current position as a manager overseeing others, the Registrar made the following orders:
    (a) Conditions were added to Mr. Quast’s salesperson licence:
    (i) To not be in a management position for at least one year,
    (ii) To successfully complete the Salesperson Certification Course at his own costs,
    (iii) To successfully complete a course on ethics at his own costs,
    (iv) To have all transactions approved by a manager prior to being finalized,
    (v) To advise his employer or any prospective employer of these conditions,
    (b) A compliance order was made requiring Mr. Quast to abide by the legislation, which is already a condition of his licence.
    (c) Pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $3,000.
  • B. Barnes
    After considering the facts of the case, the submissions of Barnes and given the lack of proper oversight of Mr. Quast by Barnes during this transaction, the Registrar made the following orders:
    (a) A condition was added to Barnes’ registration to provid its policies and processes for overseeing its sales staff, including managers, in conducting sales,
    (b) A compliance order was made requiring Barnes to abide by the legislation which is already a condition on its registration as a motor dealer.
    (c) Barnes was ordered to pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $12,500.
    (d) Barnes professed to not have expertise in inspecting and diagnosing issues in modern diesel vehicles. The Registrar ordered a process to hear submission on whether Barnes’ registration should be restricted from selling diesel vehicles.
  • C. Mr. Quast and Barnes
    (a) Mr. Quast and Barnes were held joint and severally responsible to repay investigation costs of $1,704.97. Costs are recovered from the person who caused the need for an investigation and should not be paid from the general licensee fees of other industry licensees.

Key Considerations:

  • In considering the appropriate regulatory actions, the Registrar considered the seriousness of the BPCPA breaches, the past history of the dealership and of Mr. Quast along with the required factors for consideration set out in the BPCPA.
  • The Registrar found that this is Barnes’ first infraction of this nature, however, the conduct was found to be deceptive and deliberate. It is also important to note that Barnes is a provincially designated inspection facility, however, Barnes submits that it is not an expert in inspecting and diagnosing problems on modern diesel systems in vehicles. The public would be very concerned of a franchise dealer being unable to properly inspect and diagnose issues of the vehicles it sells and of Barnes being a designated inspection facility inspecting vehicles with modern diesel systems for compliance with B.C. laws, when it professes to have no expertise in doing so. The Registrar needed to hear more submissions on this topic before making a decision.
  • When considering Mr. Quast’s past conduct, the Registrar looked at the totality of that conduct. This included letters of support which speak of Mr. Quast as an individual and a contributor to his community.
  • Last, the Registrar considered that both Barnes and Mr. Quast knowingly avoided completing the required repairs to make the vehicle’s diesel emissions meet the legislated standards. In our current era, ensuring vehicles meet emission standards is of great importance to the public interest.

Legislation considered/referred to:

  • Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, S.B.C. 2004, c. 2
  • Human Rights Code, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 210
  • Motor Dealer Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 316
  • Motor Vehicle Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 318

Cases considered/referred to:

  • Allright Automotive Repair Inc. (Re) [2006] O.L.A.T.D. No. 177 (Ont. Licence Appeal Tribunal), affirmed by Allright Automotive Repair Inc. v. Ontario (Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, Registrar) [2008] O.J. No. 1557 (Ont. Superior Court of Justice, Div. Crt.)
  • A Vancouver Auto Ltd. and Shahram Moghaddam (Registrar, Hearing File 17-02-002, April 3, 2017)
  • Best Import et al. (November 28, 2017, File 17-08-002, Registrar) varied by Best Import Auto Ltd. v Motor Dealer Council of British Columbia, 2018 BCSC 834 (BC Supreme Court)
  • British Columbia (Securities Commission) v. Pacific International Securities Inc. 2002 BCCA 421 (BC Court of Appeal)
  • Cartaway Resources Corp. (Re), 2004 SCC 26, [2004] 1 S.C.R. 672 (Supreme Court of Canada)
  • Guindon v. Canada, 2015 SCC 41, [2015] 3 S.C.R. 3 (Supreme Court of Canada)
  • Harris & Harris v. Windmill Auto Sales & Detailing Ltd. (April 10, 2013, File 12-030, Registrar), affirmed in Windmill Auto Sales & Detailing Ltd. v. Registrar of Motor Dealers, 2014 BCSC 903 (BC Supreme Court)
  • Hogan v. British Columbia Securities Commission, 2005 BCCA 53 (Court of Appeal)
  • Imad Abdullah Rashid (June 20, 2019, File 19-04-003, Registrar)
  • Knapp v. Crown Auto Body and Auto Sales Ltd. (September 21, 2009, File 08-70578, Registrar) and affirmed in Crown Auto Body and Auto Sales Ltd. v. Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia, 2014 BCSC 894
  • Webster v. Pioneer Garage Ltd. & Chas Thomson (April 27, 2018, File 17-07-002, Registrar).

Related Decision: Liability phase of the hearing

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