The Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund provides compensation to eligible consumers who lost money because a motor dealer has either gone out of business or has failed to meet certain legal obligations. The money in the fund comes from contributions made by all licensed motor dealers in BC. There are 3 steps to make a claim:
Step 1. Make a Demand to Motor Dealer
Before making a claim, you must first make a written Demand to Motor Dealer, available at this link. The Demand must be made within 4 years of the date of the transaction to which the demand relates.
(i) If motor dealer is in business, send the completed Demand to the Motor Dealer. You can send it by mail, e-email, facsimile, or hand deliver. Keep proof of delivery.
(ii) If the motor dealer is not in business, send the completed Demand to the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC (the “VSA”) and we will send your Demand to the motor dealer on your behalf. You can send it to the VSA:
If your Demand is not satisfied after 30 days, or if you receive a response from the motor dealer in less than 30 days and you are not satisfied with the response, you can make a claim – proceed to step 2.
Complete Self-Assessment of Eligibility for Making a Claim. If you answer Yes to all seven questions, you may be eligible for compensation – proceed to step 3.
Step 3. Make a claim
After 30 days from your Demand to Motor Dealer elapse, or if you receive a response from the motor dealer in less than 30 days and you are not satisfied with the response, complete a Claim Application Form available at this link, attach all required documents and send your claim application to the VSA:
To be eligible, a claim application must be made within 120 days from the date of your Demand to the motor dealer. In certain circumstances, the Registrar of Motor Dealers may provide an extension to this term. Contact the VSA Consumer Services if you need an extension.
What to expect after you make a claim
Commonly Asked Questions
Q. Can I file a claim if the motor dealer is in business?
A. Yes. However, if the dealer is in business, you may be able to get your dispute resolved by making a complaint to the VSA, which could be a faster process. See the Consumer Protection Facts on Consumer Complaints about Motor Dealers and Broker Agents on what to expect during the complaint process. If you decide to make a complaint to the VSA, you will need to complete the VSA Consumer Complaint Form.
Q. Is there a cost for submitting a claim?
A. No, there is no cost.
Q. What is the maximum amount of compensation available per claim?
A. $20,000 per eligible loss.
Q. How long is the claim process from filing an application to getting compensation?
A. The length will vary based on the complexity of your claim and staff resources. It typically takes between three to six months. In some cases, it can take longer.
Q. I was notified that my file is closed because my claim application is incomplete. Can it be reopened?
A: Yes. If a claim application is incomplete, we send a letter specifying the required missing documents. You then have 30 days to submit those documents. If we don’t hear from you within 30 days, your file will be closed. If you obtain the documents after the due date, contact the VSA and request your file be reopened. Due to the limitation periods set by law, delays may affect the eligibility of your claim. It’s recommended that you act quickly and speak to a lawyer about your rights. If you need information on getting legal advice, please refer to the VSA Fact Sheet Where to go for Help available at this link.
Q. If the motor dealer is not in business, why are they allowed time to respond?
A: A legal principle called procedural fairness requires that a person who is alleged to have done something wrong be allowed time to respond to those allegations.
Q. Who makes the decision for each claim?
A. The MDCCF Board decides the claims. The Board has five members, including three public and two industry members.
Q. How does the MDCCF Board make decisions?
A. At a hearing, the Board will review your claim application, any dealer response, the results of the investigation, and any other responses from you or the dealer. The Board then applies the criteria set by the Motor Dealer Act, available at this link and Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund Regulation, available at this link to the facts of the claim. The Board will determine if the claim is eligible for compensation, and, if eligible, the amount of compensation to be awarded. Sometimes, the Board may adjourn the hearing to a later date to get additional information. You can get a copy of the Claim Processing and Adjudication Policy from the VSA website available at this link.
Q. Do I need to attend the hearing?
A. No. In most cases you do not need to attend the hearing. In unusual cases, the Board may require an applicant and the dealer to attend the hearing.
Q. Who can I contact for more information about the Fund and claim process?
A. Vehicle Sales Authority of BC Consumer Services Tel: 604.575.7255 Toll free: 1. 877.294.9889 Email: email@example.com
If you have any questions, please contact VSA Consumer Services.
NOTE: This is to provide general information and is not intended to be legal advice.