Update: see previous posts – May 9, 2010 Taking Advantage of Consumers, March 31, 2009 The Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) effective January 1, 2010
An Ontario court has slapped a former Mazda auto dealership in Orangeville with $10,000 in penalties after the store pleaded guilty to committing “an unconscionable representation” by selling a car to a woman for more than $25,000 above its real value.
A judge with the Ontario Court of Justice fined Orangeville Mazda $8,000 plus about $2,000 in victim compensation costs on Friday following entry of a guilty plea by a dealership lawyer to the charge under the Consumer Protection Act.
Orangeville Mazda and two employees faced charges of “engaging in unfair practice by making an unconscionable representation,” in March 2010 after an investigation by the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, which regulates new and used car dealers.
Sale documents showed the dealership had sold an unemployed woman living on a disability pension a 2010 Mazda sedan for about $66,000 including taxes and a trade-in car. But the probe found she should have paid less than $41,000.
The council’s investigation indicated the dealership under president Sunny Bains approved a seven-year loan with a final payment of more than $7,000 when the woman did not qualify because of her personal financial status. Furthermore, the dealership sold several extra products and services for more than double normal prices.
Mazda Canada quickly terminated the dealership’s sales and service agreement for breaching the automaker’s business practices in the deal and other incidents. The move effectively shut down the store’s operations. Mazda also unwound the deal with the woman and compensated her.
The province’s Licence Appeal Tribunal revoked the dealership’s registration. In addition, the tribunal suspended the registration of the two senior store employees.
Charges against the dealership’s manager Mohammed (Moe) Shaikh and employee Kien Trung at the time remain before the courts.