Update: see previous posts – May 9, 2010 Taking Advantage of Consumers, March 31, 2009 The Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) effective January 1, 2010
Two veteran auto salesmen who sold a used car to a woman for about $25,000 more than its real value will be able to sell vehicles again next year.
An Ontario government tribunal has suspended salesmen Ken Trung and Mohammed (Moe) Shaikh of now defunct Orangeville Mazda for one more year and ordered them to take a college certification course after ruling they made an “unconscionable profit” on the infamous sale in late 2009.
The province’s regulator for auto dealers had frozen their licences in May last year after an investigation found they sold a 2010 Mazda6, which was already used, for $66,000, including taxes and a trade-in car, to a local woman when she should have paid less than $41,000.
The two salesmen sought renewal of their registrations to sell cars at the provincial Licence Appeal Tribunal but the regulator, the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, objected.
In his recent decision, tribunal chairman Harinder Gahir ruled the two salesmen are not chronic offenders of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act and therefore should still be eligible to hold registrations.
Gahir said although the duo have worked in the auto retail business for more than 25 years each, they were not familiar with proper policies and ethics relating to sales.
“They should be aware of their legal and ethical obligations as salespersons,” he said in the decision after hearings this summer.
“Therefore, a period of suspension is in order during which the applicants shall familiarize themselves with the law and their obligations under the act.”
Carl Compton, executive director for the industry council, said the regulator would have preferred that the tribunal keep the two salesmen off showroom floors and away from vulnerable consumers.
“It will be interesting to see how these guys account for the past two years on their resumes if they try to get back in at the end of their suspensions,” he added.
George Iny, president of the Automobile Protection Association which represents consumer interests, said the suspensions are still “significant” in view of the history of licence tribunals.
“It sends a good message,” noted Iny. “And if they come back, there should be further terms and conditions.”
Revelations about the sale in the Star last year triggered the firing of the two salesmen. Shortly afterwards, Mazda Canada cancelled the franchise agreement for the Orangeville store and the transaction for the car purchase was rescinded. The dealership’s assets were purchased and opened under with new staff.