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

Complainant: Vehicle Sales Authority of BC

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

Issues:
It was alleged that

  • Barnes and Devron Quast sold a 2013 GMC Sierra to a consumer knowing it had safety issues.
  • Due to these safety issues, the consumer was unable to get the Sierra insured.
  • Barnes and Devron Quast arranged to have the Sierra fraudulently pass a Provincial Private Vehicle Inspection (“PVI”) at third-party designated inspection facility, knowing that the Sierra was not compliant with the Motor Vehicle Act.

Outcome:
The Registrar found:

  • The evidence established that at the time of sale to the consumer, the Sierra was not compliant with the Motor Vehicle Act (“MVA”). The evidence did not establish that the non-compliance made the Sierra unsafe as alleged. The Registrar dismissed the allegation that Barnes and Devron Quast initially sold the Sierra to the consumer knowing it was unsafe. The Registrar could not rule on Barnes and Devron Quast selling the Sierra when it was not compliant with the MVA, as the Authority had not made that allegation.
  • The evidence showed the inability to insure the Sierra was because of an outstanding Notice and Order. Not because the Sierra was unsafe at the time of sale. The Registrar dismissed this allegation.
  • The Registrar found that the evidence showed Barnes and Devron Quast deliberately arranged for the Sierra to pass the PVI at Air Charge Automotive in Langley. The Registrar further found that by words and by conduct Barnes and Devron Quast represented to the consumer that the Sierra was now compliant with the MVA and therefore insurable, when it was not. The Registrar found there was a deceptive act or practice contrary to the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act.

The Registrar ordered a separate written hearing to consider compliance action against Barnes and Devron Quast.

Basic facts as found by the Registrar:

  • Barnes took the Sierra in on trade. At that time, the Sierra had an outstanding Notice and Order to be inspected for compliance with the MVA.
  • Barnes conducted an inspection on the Sierra for the First Canadian Protection Plan before selling the Sierra to its consumer. Barnes was unaware of the outstanding Notice and Order.
  • The consumer could not insure the Sierra due to the outstanding Notice and Order.
  • Barnes then had one of its designated inspectors inspect the Sierra for compliance with the MVA. The internal charge for this inspection was $165.15. The Sierra failed as its EGR and other emission components were removed, the front bumper was not of a collapsing type as originally equipped, and the fenders did not extend the full tread width of the tires.
  • Barnes argued its employee was incorrect about the front bumper. Barnes had the fenders addressed. Repairs to make the emissions compliant was estimated around $7,000.
  • Barnes stated that on the advice of a wholesaler, it sent the Sierra to Air Charge Automotive in Langley for the emission repairs to save costs and have the Sierra re-inspected for compliance with the MVA. The repairs and inspection were apparently completed by Air Charge Automotive by about 2 pm the day after Barnes’ employee failed the Sierra. Total cost was $157.50.
  • Barnes’ “lot boy” charged the $157.50 for the work done by Air Charge Automotive on their personal credit card and was reimbursed by cheque paid by a wholesaler. Barnes could not produce records of it paying anything to Air Charge Automotive.
  • The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement Branch (“CVSE”) investigated the inspection done by Air Charge Automotive on the Sierra and found it was improper. The Sierra was not compliant with the MVA. The Designated Inspector confessed that they did not look at the Sierra’s exhaust or for the EGR. The CVSE issued a violation ticket to the Inspector. The CVSE elected not to issue a violation ticket on Barnes because Barnes agreed to purchase the Sierra back from the consumer, which it did.
  • Barnes subsequently sold the Sierra to a wholesaler without making the emissions repairs.
  • Air Charge Automotive did not complete the emissions repairs. Barnes states it was an oversight on the part of Devron Quast that he did not realize Air Charge Automotive had not addressed the missing emissions components on the Sierra when the Sierra was returned to Barnes.
  • Barnes argued that it or Devron Quast did not speak to the actual inspector at Air Charge Automotive in Langley to arrange for a fraudulent pass of the Sierra.
  • The Registrar noted that the PVI Form completed by Air Charge Automotive in Langley stated: (a) The owner of the Sierra was a Calgary, Alberta dealer showing a Calgary address. It should have been the consumer, or Barnes as was noted on the PVI Form by Barnes’s employee.
    (b) The reason for the inspection was that the Sierra was being registered in BC for the first time. This was incorrect. The Barnes’s PVI Form correctly noted the reason as a Notice and Order.
    (c) The current jurisdiction of the Sierra was Saskatchewan. The Sierra had already been registered in B.C. and was declared as such on Barnes’ PVI Form.
  • The Registrar found that all the evidence showed a deliberate effort to have the Sierra pass the PVI at little cost to Barnes and to keep Barnes’ name off any official documents (the PVI Form) that would suggest its involvement in the fraudulent PVI pass. The evidence also established that Devron Quast arranged for the Sierra to go to Air Charge Automotive in Langley. The Registrar did not accept that Devron Quest missed that the emission repairs to the Sierra had not been completed by Air Charge Automotive, and also missed the use of the Calgary dealer name and the other discrepancies on the Air Charge Automotive PVI Form.

Legislation considered/referred to:

  • Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, S.B.C. 2004, c. 2, sections 4, 5, 155, 164 and 165
  • Motor Dealer Act, RSBC 1996, c. 316, sections 26.11 and 26.12
  • Motor Dealer Act Regulation, B.C. Reg. 447/78, sections 21, 22 and 27
  • Motor Vehicle Act RSBC 1996, c. 318, sections 47, 219, 222 and 223
  • Motor Vehicle Act Regulations, B.C. Reg. 26/58, section 8.01
  • Vehicle Inspection Regulation, B.C. Reg. 256/2010, Schedule

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