Claim Process Compensation Fund

Claim Process- Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund

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:

  • by email: consumer.services@vsabc.ca
  • or by mail:Vehicle Sales Authority of BC Suite 280 – 8029 199th Street, Langley, BC  V2Y 0E2
  • or by fax: 604.575.7080

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.

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:

  • by email: consumer.services@vsabc.ca
  • or by mail:Vehicle Sales Authority of BC Suite 280 – 8029 199th Street, Langley, BC  V2Y 0E2
  • or by fax: 604.575.7080

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

  1. If you provide your email address in the Claim Application Form, we will send you all claim communication by email.
  2. The review process will begin once a Claim Application and all supporting documents are received at the VSA. If your claim application is not complete, we will contact you about what is missing.
  3. When your application is complete, your claim will be assessed to confirm that it is eligible. If your claim is eligible for consideration, you will be notified of the next claim processing steps. If your claim is not eligible, you will be notified about the reasons, your options for a review of the eligibility determination. We will also refer you to other organizations that may help you.
  4. If eligible, your claim will be sent to the motor dealer for their response. The dealer is given 10 business days to provide a response to your claim. If a response is received from the dealer, it will be disclosed to you.
  5. If more information is required to process your claim, it will be forwarded to a VSA Compliance Officer for investigation. The time it takes to investigate a claim will vary depending on the information received from you, the complexity of the claim and available VSA staff resources. Investigation findings will be summarized in an Investigation Report, which will be sent to you and the motor dealer for review. You and the dealer will be able to comment on the accuracy and completeness of the report.
  6. If your claim is eligible and is not resolved through the investigation by the VSA, it will be presented to the Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund Board (the “Board”) for adjudication. The Board is an independent administrative tribunal that meets six times per year to adjudicate claims. In most cases, you do not need to attend the claim hearing – the Board hears and decides claims based on the review of the documents submitted by you and the motor dealer. The Board will either award compensation for eligible financial losses or deny the claim.
  7. You will receive a copy of the written Decision of the Board within 30 days of the hearing date. If you disagree with the decision of the Board, you will have 30 days from the date of the decision to apply for reconsideration, or 60 days from the date of the decision to apply for a Judicial Review by the BC Supreme Court. These options will be explained in detail in your claim decision. Claim decisions are also posted on the VSA website: Compensation Claim Results .
  8. Compensation payment cheques for approved claims are sent to the claimants within 60 days of the claim hearing.
  9. If you receive additional compensation from another source for the loss paid from the Fund, you must advise the VSA. For instance, if an insurance company also awards you compensation for the same loss paid from the Fund, you must advise the VSA immediately about that compensation. Failure to repay the Fund may be a cause of legal action against you for the amount unrepaid.

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: consumer.services@vsabc.ca

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.