Ministry Monitoring: Proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act seeking industry feedback

Toronto, Ontario — The Ontario Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery is consulting on potential changes to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA), and is seeking industry feedback.

The proposed document, “Modernizing the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, 2002,” suggests changes intended to “enhance consumer protection, reduce burden and improve regulatory efficiency.”

The document includes 14 proposals and industry feedback is requested by May 21st to mvda@ontario.ca.

The changes described within the document build on proposals from the ministry’s 2021 consultation and also include new recommendations from key stakeholders, the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC), and the Auditor General’s 2021 value-for-money audit of OMVIC.

As stated in the document, the suggestions described are intended to facilitate discussion, and one such proposed change is requiring a cooling-off period on all transactions. Specifically, the article notes that while “the MVDA does not provide a cooling-off period to consumers, (…) some registered motor vehicle dealers voluntarily offer a money-back guarantee or motor vehicle return policy.”

As a result, “the ministry is proposing a pre-possession two-day cooling-off period for the purchase or lease of new and used, including “as-is” motor vehicles. The cooling-off period would apply to all transactions, including those involving a vehicle trade-in.”

The proposed two-day cooling-off period would not let the consumer take possession of the motor vehicle and it would remain at the dealership unregistered until the cooling-off period ended.

Another change suggested by the MVDA is requiring an information guide for consumers. As stated in the provided documents, “the MVDA does not require registrants to provide an information guide to consumers, who may be unaware of their rights when purchasing or leasing a motor vehicle. This lack of awareness may increase the risk of consumers being taken advantage of by registrants engaging in bad business practices such as improper advertising or incomplete disclosures related to the motor vehicle.”

For this change, the ministry is “proposing that OMVIC be required to develop an information guide to inform consumers of their rights under the MDVA” as well as the role of OMVIC. The ministry is also proposing that registrants be required to develop and provide the guide to consumers prior to their signing of a contract.

Finally, a third change being suggested is allowing trade to occur outside the place of business. Currently, the MVDA “prohibits motor vehicle dealers from inviting consumers to trade outside their registered place of business.” However, the organization acknowledges that “the motor vehicle sales sector has changed significantly since the MVDA came into force, and consumers are getting increasingly comfortable engaging with motor vehicle dealers online to purchase or lease new or used vehicles.”

As a result, the ministry is proposing allowing “registrants to conduct all aspects of trade–such as buying, selling, leasing, or inciting—” outside of their place of business under certain circumstances. Notably, the change will be allowed if the “consumer invites the registrant to do so” and so long as the registrant maintains a place of business in Ontario.

For this specific proposal, the ministry has also offered several ways to help reduce risk to both consumers and businesses. This includes the two-day cooling-off period mentioned above; only permitting trade outside the place of business when the consumer has initiated contact with the registrant, and when they have requested a trade outside the place of business.

To see the full proposal and to read the other 11 suggestions, click here.

Collision Repair magazine would also love to hear industry feedback on these proposed changes. If you have an opinion that you’d like to share feel free to reach out to allison@mediamatters.ca



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