The feeling of sitting in your new car and coming out of the dealership to start your first trip is quite exciting. Until we realize that options that we spent thousands of dollars on are missing.
Written yesterday at 17.00.
This is exactly what a Volkswagen customer experienced. Since she wants to maintain a good relationship with her dealer, with whom she is bound by contract, I will call her Isabelle.
After taking possession of her new Taos, Isabelle discovered while driving that safety systems such as “power front brakes with autonomous emergency braking” and “blind spot detection with traffic warning” were missing. Still, she had paid over $5,000 to drive the Comfortline version of this model, which includes these options, among others.
Isabelle contacts her salesperson. “He told me the systems were supposed to be there, but they ran out of parts. And I’m not the only one this happens to. If I had the price adjusted, at least…”
Demanding compensation, the dealer ended up telling him that he had already received a discount of a few hundred dollars. But this adjustment is not written into the contract, and Isabelle does not recall a verbal warning about the possibility of paying the butter for options, which she considers very important as they relate to security.
What were they hoping for? I never realize that? That’s what offends me the most.
His efforts with Volkswagen Canada could hardly have been more fruitful.
The manufacturer confirmed to him that the lack of parts forces him to “temporarily change the structure of the delivery of certain models” and that his website contains a warning to this effect. “Crimes in the supply chain can result in changes in the availability of standard or optional equipment. it [prix de détail] will be adjusted if specific equipment is not included,” it read.
But “a simple warning on a website is not enough,” says Charles Tanguay, spokesman for the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC). Lawyer Jacques Castonguay, automotive specialist at ML Avocats, agrees. “There is no obligation when you buy to go and see the website! »
When a dealer sells a vehicle that does not correspond to its original description, for whatever reason, he commits violations of The Consumer Protection Act, recalls Charles Tanguay. Article 219 prohibits false information, while the obligation of conformity of goods falls under Articles 40 and 41. As a result, “the consumer could request a reduction in the price or cancellation of the sale” by means of a formal notification.
Me Castonguay suggests taking legal action against both the dealer and the developer “so they don’t pass the buck”.
Isabelle intends to fight for financial compensation as she needs her car. She could also ask the court to award her punitive damages, says the OPC representative.
Failing to mention the absence of certain options when the vehicle is delivered, or even refusing to grant a reduction in the sales price, may constitute aggravating factors in the eyes of a judge.
Jacques Castonguay, lawyer specializing in the automotive industry at ML Avocats
To calculate the value of the missing options, it is possible to call the Automobile Protection Association (APA) and the CAA.
Shortages of semiconductors and other parts are also plaguing other automakers.
Audi has reduced the number of standard features on its cars, motor1.com reported. “You may not like it, but it’s currently the only way for an automaker to keep deliveries flowing,” the author said.
According to this specialist publication, vehicles with features removed are identified by “a sticker” and come with “a cash credit depending on the number of features removed”. It can be the blind spot monitor, the rear collision detection system, the adaptive cruise control, the lane assistant or the wireless charging pad.
“Your new BMW may not have a touch screen”, also titled the edmunds.com page at the end of 2021. In early July, GM said it had 95,000 vehicles built without certain components in stock.
To avoid frustration and possible small claims cases, ask the dealer about options that may be missing and compensation offered, require written answers and be aware of your rights.