Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan (CAMVAP) has released its 2007 annual report, which showed that in that year, the arbitrators ordered 87 vehicles to be bought back and 18 consumers reimbursed for repairs averaging $2,500 per case.

“We want consumers to know about us,” said Jim Savary, CAMVAP Chair. “When something goes wrong with their vehicle and the problem cannot be resolved with the dealership, it helps the consumer to know that there is a dispute resolution program available to them.”

CAMVAP is an arbitration plan that is free and final, and allows consumers an option when they are not able to resolve a dispute with the manufacturer of their vehicles. It covers vehicles from the current model year back four model years, currently 2004 and newer; as of September 30, coverage will include 2005 and newer vehicles.

In 2007, arbitrators ordered 87 vehicles to be bought back, for a total of just over $2 million; 18 consumers received reimbursement of expenses totalling just over $44,000, or about $2,500 per case; and in the 302 arbitrated cases, there were 67 repair orders where the manufacturer was ordered to repair the consumer’s vehicle at its expense. As in the past several years, CAMVAP noted that engines were the most common complaint, followed by steering and suspension, and then by transmissions. Cars averaged 1.72 complaints per arbitration, light trucks 1.85 complaints, minivans 1.93 and SUVs 1.93, rates which are consistent with previous years.

CAMVAP deals with two issues: whether there is a manufacturing defect with the vehicle, or whether the manufacturer has implemented its new vehicle warranty properly. The program is free of charge to consumers and is available in all provinces and territories.

Manufacturers that participate in CAMVAP include Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo; those that do not are BMW (including Mini), Mitsubishi, and Rolls-Royce. “Consumers should consider the absence of a dispute resolution program as part of their overall buying decision,” Savary said. “There is less of an incentive to settle a dispute when CAMVAP is not an option available to the consumer and also to the manufacturer.”

The 2007 annual report is available at Camvap.ca; to reach the CAMVAP, visit the website or call 1-800-207-0685. Cases take about 70 days to complete, and if an in-person arbitration hearing is required, it will be held in the consumer’s hometown or area.

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