Toronto, ON – Drivetime and Craig Terry Investments Ltd. have lost their operating licenses as a result of what the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council called “serious consumer complaints.”
The orders, called Immediate Suspension Orders, state that neither company might legally sell, lease or buy vehicles.
Both dealerships operated on The Kingsway in Sudbury, Ont.
“Immediate suspensions are fairly dramatic steps”, Terry O’Keefe, OMVIC director of communications, said in a release. “They are taken when OMVIC believes a dealer’s conduct may place the car-buying public at risk.”
O’Keefe told Canadian AutoWorld that OMVIC alleges that a consumer bought a vehicle from Drivetime and paid $40,000 for it with financing obtained by Drivetime and Craig Terry Investments. But the consumer never received the vehicle and was still obliged to make payments on the vehicle.
In another transaction, OMVIC alleges that Drivetime sold a car that had an undischarged lien on it. The consumer was unaware of the lien. When payment on the lien was not made, the financial institution that had the lien repossessed the car.
OMVIC says the car has since been returned to the consumer.
“This is a unusual step. We have never done anything like this before. But we felt that in order to protect the public, an immediate suspension was required,” he said.
The regulator has also issued Proposals to Refuse the registration of Micheline Cooper, operator of Drivetime and Craig Terry Investments, and another dealership the Cooper wanted to run, Turn Key Auto.
The regulator went on to say the suspensions are temporary and may be appealed to the License Appeal Tribunal. Proposals to Refuse are also appealable to the LAT.
The orders may be appealed to the LAT within 15 days.
The appellants may apply to the tribunal to have the orders suspended pending a full hearing.
OMVIC went on to note that there are other registered dealers in Ontario using the business name Drivetime. They are not affiliated with Drivetime in Sudbury and are not affected by the orders.
Further, no individual named Craig Terry is party to any of the proceedings or allegations.
O’Keefe said that since the publication of the orders on July 22 other consumers have come forward to complain about the conduct of Drivetime, Craig Terry Investments and Cooper.
The Immediate Suspension Orders and the Proposals to Refuse are based on allegations that have not yet been proven in court.