May 18, 2006

Major changes proposed for motor dealer and vehicle sales legislation in British Columbia

Burnaby, British Columbia – Under changes proposed by a legislation review, consumers in British Columbia may be able to recover up to $50,000 in the event of a loss resulting from motor dealer business failure, dishonest behaviour, or failure to provide clear title by a dealership. This would raise the ceiling on qualified claims to the Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund from the present $20,000.

The two-year review by the Legislation Review Committee of the Motor Dealer Council focused on all legislation and regulations with respect to the sale of motor vehicles. Committee members included representatives from the industry, Autoplan agents, ICBC, the British Columbia Automobile Association and the public. A total of 15 organizations, representing both consumers and industry, were asked to make submissions at the outset of the review.

Other proposals include ensuring that all wholesalers, brokers, auctioneers, importers, exporters, bailiffs, collection agents and manufacturers who sell motor vehicles are to be licensed; the clarification of the definitions of campers, tent trailers and horse trailers, to ensure that all appropriate dealers will be included as businesses requiring a dealer license; changes to the Compensation Fund to clarify and expand what is covered, and lengthen the period of time in which to make claims, plus the addition of an optional dispute resolution process; improve language to ensure that motor dealers comply “with every advertisement or written representation”; and ensure that financial agents and lenders not licensed under a federal or provincial statue be licensed under the Motor Dealer Act if they participate in vehicle sales. In addition, there is a proposal that anyone engaged in consignment sales be required to post securities, in the amount of $75,000 for recreation vehicle dealers and $20,000 for auto dealers.

The Motor Dealer Council has posted the complete 42-page report to its Web site at; it invites feedback from the industry and the public, and will use this before asking the government to act later this year.

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