Claiming

 I’m interested in CAMVAP. Now what?

Before receiving a CAMVAP application package, you must make a genuine effort to resolve your dispute with the manufacturer. This means that you have to follow the manufacturer’s dispute resolution process and give the dealer and the manufacturer an opportunity to resolve the problem with your vehicle.

What is the manufacturer’s dispute resolution process?

This varies from one manufacturer to another. You will find the process for your particular vehicle in your owner’s manual or warranty booklet. This is the process that you must follow before you come to CAMVAP.

Must I also give both the dealer and the manufacturer an opportunity to resolve the problem?

Yes. You must give both the dealer and the manufacturer a reasonable amount of time and opportunity to resolve the problem.

First talk with the dealer and see if the dispute can be resolved at that level. If you do not succeed at the original dealership, consider going to a different one.

If your dispute is still not resolved, call the manufacturer’s customer assistance centre (See back page of this guide). You may be asked to meet with the manufacturer’s representative. Give the manufacturer a reasonable amount of time and opportunity to resolve the problem.

Keep track of your efforts with the dealer and the manufacturer including the date, time, file number and the name and position of any people you speak with. This will help you show that you made a genuine effort to resolve your dispute with the manufacturer so that you are entitled to an application package.

What if the manufacturer and I disagree on what is a reasonable amount of time and opportunity?

If you disagree with the manufacturer about what is a reasonable amount of time and opportunity to resolve the dispute, you can explain this to the Provincial Administrator when you apply to CAMVAP. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, an arbitrator will have to decide the question.

What is a Provincial Administrator and how do I reach one?

CAMVAP uses different independent organizations to deliver the plan within Canada. These are called Provincial Administrators. If you believe your claim is eligible for CAMVAP, contact your local Provincial Administrator at 1-800-207-0685 or you can start your CAMVAP claim through the website located at www.camvap.ca.

What happens when I first call the Provincial Administrator?

Before you receive an application package, the Provincial Administrator will screen your claim to make sure it meets the plan’s basic criteria. If your claim falls outside the criteria, the Provincial Administrator will explain why.

At the screening stage, you will be asked questions like:

  • What is your vehicle’s make, model, year, and odometer reading?
  • What is your vehicle’s Gross Vehicle Weight? (If your vehicle appears to weigh more than 4,563 kg or 10,000 lbs you may be asked to have it weighed as part of the application process.)
  • Who is your servicing dealer?
  • Did you follow the manufacturer’s dispute resolution process in your owner’s manual or warranty booklet?
  • Did you give the dealer a reasonable amount of time and opportunity to resolve the problem?
  • Did you give the manufacturer a reasonable amount of time and opportunity to resolve the problem?
  • Have you already taken the matter to court?
  • Are you part of a class action lawsuit?
  • How much do you use your vehicle for personal, family and business use?
  • Is this your only vehicle?
  • What is the defect in vehicle assembly or materials that you complain about?
  • What is your concern with the manufacturer’s application or administration of the new vehicle warranty?

What does the Provincial Administrator do with the information I provide?

When your claim meets the plan’s basic criteria, the Provincial Administrator records your answers on a form called a Qualification Worksheet which is then sent to the manufacturer. The manufacturer has 3 business days to indicate whether it agrees that your claim meets the plan’s criteria. If it does not agree, it must provide reasons to the Provincial Administrator. For example, the manufacturer may say that:

  • You did not give it a reasonable amount of time and opportunity to resolve the problem;
  • You already settled the matter with the manufacturer such as by means of a “goodwill” settlement;
  • Your vehicle’s problem results from an accident, not a defect;
  • You use the vehicle primarily for business;
  • Your vehicle’s problem result from a modification, not a defect; or
  • You have already taken the matter to court or are part of a class action law suit.

If the Provincial Administrator still finds that your claim meets the plan’s basic criteria you will receive an application package to let you start the process. On the other hand, if the Provincial Administrator is of the opinion that you do not meet those requirements, you will be advised and will receive a written explanation.

The most frequent reasons for not qualifying are high levels of business use or failing to follow the manufacturer’s dispute resolution process. Once you follow the manufacturer’s dispute resolution process, your claim may become eligible and you may contact CAMVAP again.

What happens if the manufacturer offers to settle my dispute at the screening stage?

At the screening stage the manufacturer may contact you directly to discuss possible solutions or settlement. Consider the pros and cons of the manufacturer’s offer carefully because if you settle your claim you will not be eligible for CAMVAP.

What does the application package contain?

The application package will include:

  • A Claim Form which you must complete to apply for a hearing;
  • A companion guide called “Getting Ready for CAMVAP”;
  • The Agreement for Arbitration which contains the legal framework for CAMVAP arbitrations and contains the Buy-back calculation form to calculate the Buy-back amount if you are considering a Buy-back;
  • A form identifying the name(s) of eligible manufacturer supported extended service contracts for your vehicle’s manufacturer
  • A short résumé of the arbitrator selected to handle your claim.

Read the forms and documents carefully. Call the Provincial Administrator or speak with your lawyer if you need clarification.

When I complete my Claim Form, should I include documents?

Yes. You should attach any and all documents that you will be using to prove your claim. Take the time to put them in order and avoid unnecessary duplication. The Claim Form is the arbitrator’s first introduction to your case, so it is in your interest to make it clear, orderly and helpful.

Do not send original documents. You should send clear, legible copies and bring the original documents with you to the hearing.

What else should I do to complete the Claim Form?

Fill in the Claim Form thoroughly and accurately. Type, write or print clearly and legibly.

Work through the sections of the Claim Form one at a time, answering all of the questions fully. Make sure you have covered all aspects of your case and clearly outline the current defects that you allege (those where the defect is currently causing symptoms in your vehicle that have not been properly repaired) or the problem you have with the new vehicle warranty. Add (and number) additional pages if there is not enough room on the Claim Form to outline your problem(s). Try to be as specific as possible with each of the issues that make up your claim.

Review your completed Claim Form for completeness and accuracy. Check to make sure that you have attached or enclosed legible copies of all relevant documents. Then sign and date the Claim Form where indicated on the second page. Return the completed Claim Form and your documents to the Provincial Administrator who sent you the application package.

How soon do I have to return my completed Claim Form?

You have 60 days to return the Claim Form from the date the Provincial Administrator gives or sends it to you. If you do not do so within this time, your claim will not be processed and you will have to reapply if you want to use the plan. You may re-apply as long as you still meet the plan’s criteria.

Why does the Claim Form ask for the odometer reading?

The odometer reading is used to determine eligibility for the program and is also used as a base line for the Buy-back remedy. If you ask for a Buy-back, it is used to determine the Buy-back price and whether a reduction for use will apply. The arbitrator will confirm the odometer reading on the date of the hearing.

Why does the Claim Form ask if the vehicle is leased?

If the vehicle is leased, the lessor must sign the Claim Form. The Provincial Administrator can help you with this.

In addition, if you ask for a Buy-back Award, the Buy-back amount for a leased vehicle is calculated with a specific formula. The arbitrator will need to know which formula to use. When your vehicle is leased, you must keep your lease payments up to date throughout the arbitration, regardless of the condition of your vehicle. If your lease payments are in arrears, the Buy-back amount will be reduced by the amount of the arrears.

Why does the Claim Form ask if there is any debt outstanding on my vehicle?

If you ask for a Buy-back Award, the Buy-back amount for an owned vehicle is calculated with a specific formula. The arbitrator will need to know which formula to use. When your vehicle is financed, you must keep your financing payments up to date throughout the arbitration, regardless of the condition of your vehicle. Should you ask for and receive a Buy-back Award, you will have to deliver the vehicle to the manufacturer free and clear of all liens or the manufacturer may need to make all or a portion of the Buy-back amount payable to the lien holder.

How much detail should I put in the section called “Problem Identification”?

When the arbitrator and the manufacturer read the Problem Identification section of your Claim Form, they should be able to understand the essence of your dispute with the manufacturer. You must clearly identify the problem(s) with your vehicle and what it is that you want the arbitrator to decide. What do you allege as the defect in vehicle assembly or materials specific to your vehicle? Or what is your concern about how the manufacturer is applying or administering its new vehicle warranty? These allegations must be made as specific statements?

Take your time with this part of the Claim Form because at the hearing the arbitrator can only consider the problems you identify here and no others.

It is up to you to decide how to explain the problem with your vehicle, but you should include all relevant facts and take as much space as you need. It might be helpful to prepare a list of events in the order that they took place. When did the problem with your vehicle first begin? How was the problem diagnosed and repaired? With what results? What did you do next? When and how did you come to the conclusion that there was a defect in vehicle assembly or materials? How do you best describe the current defect with the vehicle?

What if new problems develop after I complete the Claim Form? Can I add them later?

The arbitrator can only consider the problems that you originally identified on your Claim Form. New problems can only be added if the manufacturer consents.

What should I check off in the section called “Remedy Requested”?

A remedy is one of the specific things that a CAMVAP arbitrator can order under the plan. The arbitrator is limited to these remedies and cannot invent others.

When you complete the Remedy Requested section, you should check off all of the remedies that you intend to ask for. You should also include copies of all supporting documents for each remedy that you pick. The Claim Form suggests what these documents might be but do not hesitate to add others that prove you are entitled to a remedy.

If I spent money on diagnostic testing for the problem with my vehicle, can I claim that too?

Yes. You should check off the box called “Refund of Documented Expenses”, indicate the amount involved and include copies of receipts for the cost of the diagnostic testing as you may be eligible for up to $500 to cover the cost of diagnostic testing that was done prior to your CAMVAP hearing.

Before I check off the Buy-back remedy, what do I need to know?

The Buy-back remedy is only available if your vehicle has travelled less than 60,000 kilometers and has been in service for no more than 36 months at the time of the hearing.

Before you check off the Buy-back remedy it is strongly recommended that you calculate the expected Buy-back amount, using the forms at the back of this guide or the on-line calculator at www.camvap.ca. The arbitrator will establish the final value of the Buy-back with you and the manufacturer using the odometer reading at the date of the hearing but your private calculations will let you know what to expect.

If you have any difficulty with doing these calculations, ask the Provincial Administrator for assistance. Also, the Provincial Administrator can assist you to determine if any extended service contract purchased for your vehicle qualifies as a Manufacturer Supported Extended Service Contract for the purposes of the buy-back calculation. You may find the Buy-back calculator on the CAMVAP website easier to use than doing the calculation manually on the Buy-back forms included in this booklet.

If the Purchase Price of your vehicle includes all or part of what you still owed on the vehicle you traded in, then the Buy-back amount may be reduced by that amount if the amount is identified before the hearing and proven to the Arbitrator at the hearing. A request to consider this amount will be made by the manufacturer as part of its information exchange prior to the hearing.

Consider the Buy-back amount carefully against your other options. You are the best person to decide if this is the remedy for you. A Buy-back may not be the best outcome if you are not financially ready to replace the vehicle.

For the purposes of a Buy-back does it matter whether my vehicle is owned or leased?

Yes. There are important differences in the amount and structure of a Buy-back for an owned or leased vehicle.

 

Owned Vehicle

Leased Vehicle

What Happens?

In exchange for the Buy-back amount you transfer ownership to the manufacturer within 21 days of receiving the arbitrator’s order.

The manufacturer takes over your lease and you are no longer responsible for it from the date the vehicle is returned to the manufacturer.

What Is Included In The Buy-back Amount?

  • The price you originally paid before down payments or trade-ins, including Manufacturer Supported Extended Service Contracts minus specified items (see below); and
  • A reduction for use based on distance travelled.
  • 100% of your security deposit; and
  • Your down payment, pro-rated to the remaining months on your lease.

What Is Excluded From The Buy-back Amount?

  • Manufacturer’s incentives or discounts.
  • Provincial or territorial sales tax.
  • The cost of accessories and options unless they are manufacturer-approved and installed by the manufacturer or dealer at time of purchase.
  • The cost of rust-proofing or fabric protectors, even if purchased from an authorized dealer.
  • The cost of extended warranties, service contracts or insurance products that are not Manufacturer Supported Extended Service Contracts even if purchased from the manufacturer.
  • Previous lease payments.
  • Any administrative or other costs associated with your lease.
  • An adjustment for low use.
  • Provincial or territorial sales tax.

What Might Change The Buy-Back Amount?

You will receive more money if the arbitrator applies a lower reduction for use. This is possible only if your vehicle:

  • was in service for less than 365 days when your claim form was received; and
  • travelled less than 25,000 kilometres at the time of the hearing.
  • You will receive less money if the arbitrator applies a reduction in the Buy-back amount to cover negative equity that you owed for another vehicle that was used in the purchase of this vehicle

You will receive less money (and possibly owe money to the manufacturer) if you:

  • traveled more kilometres than the lease permits on a monthly basis; or
  • have lease arrears when the vehicle is bought back.
  • You will receive less money if the arbitrator applies a reduction in the Buy-back amount to cover negative equity that you owed for another vehicle that was used in the purchase of this vehicle.

Is tax paid on the Buy-back amount?

GST or HST is calculated on the Buy-back price using the same rate as shown on your purchase or lease agreement, but provincial or territorial sales tax is not. It is up to you to independently apply for a sales tax refund if one is available in your province or territory.

If I ask for a Buy-back in my Claim Form, can the arbitrator order repairs instead?

The arbitrator can decide to order repairs instead of a Buy-back if the arbitrator is convinced that repairs are practical and available.

When repairs are ordered, the arbitrator remains responsible for the case for 90 days from the date they are completed. Within that time frame you can ask the arbitrator to reconsider the repair order if the repairs are not effective. After 90 days, however, the arbitration is at an end and the arbitrator lacks authority to do more.

What if I want to change my request from repairs to a Buy-back at the hearing?

If you ask for repairs on your Claim Form but later want to ask for a Buy-back, the arbitrator can allow this change as long as the manufacturer has enough notice and/or opportunity to respond to your changed request.

How do I complete the Claim Form if I do not yet know the name of witnesses or who will assist me at the hearing?

If you do not know the name of your witnesses, legal counsel or the person who will assist you at the hearing when you complete the Claim Form, you can provide this to the Provincial Administrator at a later date but you must do so at least 10 calendar days before the hearing. If you do not provide this information in time the Arbitrator may not allow you to use it.

What happens when the Provincial Administrator receives my Claim Form and documents?

The Provincial Administrator will review your application and documents for completeness. Assuming that everything is in order and that you still qualify for CAMVAP, the Provincial Administrator will forward a copy of your Claim Form and documents to the manufacturer so that it knows what you are claiming and why.

Do I get to learn the manufacturer’s response to my claim?

Yes. Like the manufacturer, you have to know what to expect at the hearing. Within 10 business days of receiving your claim the manufacturer must file a written response in addition to any documents it will use to prove its defence to your claim. The Provincial Administrator will send you a copy of the manufacturer’s response and documents.

How soon will my hearing be set up after I return my Claim Form?

Assuming that your claim form is complete, the Provincial Administrator will set up your hearing within 50 days of receiving your completed application. The hearing will be as close to your home as possible.

How do I prepare for my CAMVAP hearing?

Please see the companion guide called “Getting Ready for CAMVAP” which contains details of how to prepare for a CAMVAP hearing.

Calculating a Buy-back When You OWN the Vehicle or When You LEASE the Vehicle

Use the Buy-back forms included in this booklet to calculate the Buy-back amount or use the Buy-back calculators on the website at www.camvap.ca. Take care to ensure that the correct numbers are inserted into each section of the Buy-back calculation.

The Provincial Administrator can help you complete this calculation. Contact the Provincial Administrator at 1-800-207-0685 if you have any questions.