Auto Service World
News   March 26, 2013   by CARS Magazine

Investigation exposes several Vancouver-area used vehicle dealerships

CTVs W5 program has done an undercover investigation of 20 used car dealerships in the Vanouver area. More than half received failing grades from the Automobile Protection Association.

More than half the used car dealers visited by reporters from the Canadian news program W5 got failing grades from the Automobile Protection Association (APA).

The investigation, which was broadcast on CTV recently, revealed that 12 used car dealers added significant extra fees and misrepresented the condition of their vehicles.

According to CTV, the results confirm Vancouver’s “shady” reputation when it comes to used-vehicle sales.

Among the biggest issues uncovered was the sale of cars not identified as having once been used as rental vehicles. By law, dealers must let potential buyers know this information. Two of the three dealerships that were selling former rentals failed to do so.

Another condition that was often failed to be met is in the sale of cars that has previously been in an accident. According to British Columbia law, a vehicle that has been in a collision can be rebuilt and resold, but only after the vehicle has passed both a structural inspection, as well as a mechanical inspection, administered by British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation.

Of the eight vehicles that had been rebuilt and supposedly passed these inspections, four of them were poorly repaired and were not roadworthy.

Perry Dennis, the deputy director of commercial vehicle safety and enforcement defended his department’s oversight, insisting that his division does hold the authorized inspectors at the inspection facilities responsible.

“We audit them every two years. If we suspect that there are facilities out there that are not following the rules, we have numerous ways of watching and ensuring that they’re inspecting to standard,” Dennis said.

APA president, George Iny was part of W5’s investigation, and he inspected some of these vehicles himself. Prior to his position at APA, he was an estimator for the province’s insurance company, ICBC.
The rebuilt vehicle market of B.C. is something he is familiar with, and he says the inspection paperwork is no guarantee. “You have the illusion that a vigorous authority is looking over the rebuild process and what we are telling you at APA is no such thing, not in the Vancouver market.”


To watch W5’s full investigation, visit CTV’s website.

This investigation is not the only recent probe into the used vehicle market in Canada. A report by CBC highlights very similar concerns regarding extra fees in the province of Alberta. To read this article, visit