VSA

Registrar's Decision

Registrar's Decision 20-04-002

File Number: 20-04-002

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

Complainant: Daniel Dubois

Licensee/Unlicensed person:
Preferred Auto Group Inc. dba We Do Salvage (#40298), Abraham Walton (#205183)

Issues:

  • The Authority requested a hearing before the Registrar alleging that Preferred Auto Group Inc. dba We Do Salvage:
    (a) Accepted a $3,000 deposit from Daniel Dubois and did not return the deposit when We Do Salvage agreed to return the deposit, and
    (b) The above conduct was in breach of section 5 of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and section 33(2)(a) and (c) of the Motor Dealer Act Regulation [Code of Conduct].

Outcome:

  • In considering the evidence, the Registrar noted:
    (a) The agreement between Mr. Dubois and We Do Salvage was for We Do Salvage to rebuild a Ford F150 that Mr. Dubois would ultimately purchase.
    (b) Mr. Dubois left a $3,000 deposit on August 2, 2017 but on August 23, 2017 asked that it be returned as the estimated cost to rebuild the Ford was too prohibitive. The dealer agreed to the refund on August 30, 2017.
    (c) Mr. Dubois only noticed he did not receive the refund when he filed his income taxes. He filed his complaint with the Authority in January 2019.
    (d) During the investigation, and attempts to obtain the return of the deposit, We Do Salvage went out of business.
    (e) The Registrar noted the legislation only empowers the Registrar to grant remedies associated with a consumer transaction. If evidence shows the transaction (use of the vehicle) was for a business purpose, a legal presumption occurs of business use and there must be evidence to show the vehicle was intended to be used primarily for the personal, family or household use of an individual.
    (f) In this case, the evidence showed the intended use of the Ford was for a business purposes as Mr. Dubois did not notice he did not receive the refund for almost a year and only when he was filing his taxes. Tax deductions associated with a vehicle purchase indicates a business use.
    (g) There was no evidence before the Registrar to rebut the legal presumption of business use for the Ford.
  • Based on the above, the Registrar ruled the transaction was a business transaction and declined to consider the complaint due to a lack of jurisdiction.

Legislation cited:

Acts:

  • Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, S.B.C. 2004, c. 2, s. 155(4)(a)
  • Judicial Review Procedure Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 241, generally
  • Motor Dealer Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c., 316, s. 1 definition of “motor dealer”; 7.1(t); s. 26.02(4)(a)

Cases cited:

  • Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. of Canada v. Shoreline Auto Sales Ltd. [1986] B.C.J. No. 1745 (BC Supreme Court)
  • GMAC LeaseCo Ltd. V. Moncton Motor Home & Sales Inc. (Trustee of) 2003 NBCA 26 (New Brunswick Court of Appeal)
  • GMAC LeaseCo Ltd v. Stalker, 1999 CanLII 5443 (BC Supreme Court)
  • Re: Anita L. Prince (June 4, 2020, File 20-02-001, Registrar)
  • Re: Best Import Auto Ltd et al, (November 28, 2017, File 17-08-002, Registrar)
  • Best Import Auto Ltd. v Motor Dealer Council of British Columbia, 2018 BCSC 834 (BC Supreme Court).
  • Seidel v. TELUS Communications Inc., 2011 SCC 15 (CanLII), [2011] 1 SCR 531 (Supreme Court of Canada)
  • Windmill Auto Sales & Detailing Ltd. v. Registrar of Motor Dealers, 2014 BCSC 903 (BC Supreme Court)

Words or phrases legally considered:

  • “motor dealer”
  • “personal, family or household use”

Click here for the full decision (PDF)