May 27, 2004
CAMVAP has 10th anniversary
Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan (CAMVAP), an arbitration program that allows consumers to resolve disputes about manufacturing defects or the way in which the manufacturer is implementing its new vehicle warranty, is marking its 10th anniversary in Canada. The program was introduced in May of 1994. Quebec joined in 2000.
The CAMVAP process is simple and transparent. The consumer makes his or her case to an arbitrator. The manufacturer cross-examines the consumer and his or her witnesses. The manufacturer in turn makes its case; the consumer then can cross-examine the manufacturer and its witnesses. Normally, the vehicle is then inspected by all present at the hearing. A test drive will be taken if one is appropriate to the claim. If needed, the arbitrator may order an independent technical inspection of the vehicle. Finally, when all the evidence has been heard, the arbitrator decides the case.
CAMVAP services are provided at no cost to either the consumer or to the provincial governments. The cost of the program is paid by the manufacturer in advance, on an annual basis, through formulas based on their case numbers.
CAMVAP has contracts with about 120 independent arbitrators across the country. Some 75% of the arbitrators are lawyers. The others come from a varied list of occupations and professions including engineers, accountants, business people and university professors.
- Handled over 73,000 inquiries since 1994
- Held 4,622 hearings in 446 communities across Canada
- Over 70% of all cases in 2003 resulted in an award or settlement favouring the consumer
- 77% Consumers who come to CAMVAP rate the program as Excellent or Very Good (2002 figures, 2003 figures will be available in July)
CAMVAP does not set a minimum threshold for eligibility; consumers must follow the dispute resolution process set out in the owner’s handbook and first give the dealer and the manufacturer an opportunity to resolve the issue.
Vehicles of the current model year plus the last four model years that have been purchased from an authorized dealer are eligible for CAMVAP, whether they are owned or leased, purchased new or used. For example, vehicles from 2000 are eligible until September 30, 2004, as long as they have travelled less than 160,000 km. If the arbitrator finds in favour of the consumer, possible remedies include buyback, repairs, refund for repairs already made, and refund for out-of-pocket expenses. Vehicles with under 25,000 km on the odometer are eligible for a buyback without a reduction for use. For vehicles with between 25,000 kilometres and 60,000 km on the odometer, buyback carries with it a reduction for use.
Since 1994 CAMVAP Arbitrators have ordered
- 696 Vehicles bought back with $13,546,468 paid to consumers
- $525,550 paid to consumers as reimbursements for repairs
- 1,330 orders issued for repairs at the manufacturer’s expense
CAMVAP’s website is www.camvap.ca.