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CAMVAP is a program that allows disputes between consumers and vehicle manufacturers to be resolved through binding arbitration. Disputes about alleged defects in the assembly of a vehicle or implementation of the new vehicle warranty are eligible for arbitration under the CAMVAP program.
CAMVAP is available at no charge to the consumer and can be accessed in all Provinces and Territories in Canada.
CAMVAP is an effective way to settle disputes. An independent and neutral arbitrator is assigned to each dispute and makes a decision that is fair to both the vehicle owner and the vehicle manufacturer.
CAMVAP is available to owners and lessees of new and used vehicles. Vehicles owned by businesses may be eligible if they meet the program’s eligibility requirements.
You agree to submit your dispute to an arbitrator for a decision. The arbitrator will hold a hearing where they will listen to both your side and the manufacturer’s side of the dispute. After considering all the evidence presented by both you and the manufacturer, the arbitrator will make a decision that is final and binding.
In some instances, the consumer and manufacturer may be able to settle the dispute before going to arbitration.
CAMVAP Arbitrators can order the manufacturer to:
1. Repair your vehicle at its expense;
2. Buy your owned or leased vehicle back at a price set by a formula (with or without a reduction for use);
3. Reimburse you for previous repairs;
4. Reimburse you up to $500 for diagnostic testing of your vehicle done prior to the date of your hearing;
5. Reimburse you for certain out-of-pocket expenses up to $1,000;
6. Reimburse you up to $100 of your total costs to summons witnesses.
7. Reimburse you up to $200 for the removal and/or reinstallation of an aftermarket part if the arbitrator determines that the aftermarket part was not the cause of the current defect claimed by the consumer.
The arbitrator can also order that:
1. The manufacturer has no liability for your claim; or
2. The arbitrator has no jurisdiction (authority) over your claim.
3. That you must remove an aftermarket part from your vehicle prior to your case proceeding on an allegation of a current defect that is caused by or related to an aftermarket part.
But a CAMVAP arbitrator cannot order:
1. Exemplary, punitive or other damages (except as allowed by the by the available CAMVAP remedies);
2. That the agreement to buy or lease your vehicle be voided or set aside;
3. Reimbursement of expenses to buy or lease your vehicle;
4. A Buy-back if you exceed the Buy-back eligibility requirements, even if repairs cannot be made;
5. A Buy-back amount that exceeds the price paid for thean owned vehicle as shown on the retail sales contract;
6. Extended service contracts or warranty extensions;
7. The repair, removal or addition of an Aftermarket Part;
8. The repair, removal or addition of any computer software.
A Quick Check...
If you answered yes to all the questions above you are likely eligible for CAMVAP. Please contact our program administrators at 1-800-207-0685 for more information or request a call-back here.
You can download our document Is CAMVAP For Me?
As a consumer, the choice is yours. You can file a claim with the courts or you can use CAMVAP, but you can’t do both.
If your case proceeds to a hearing, it will be held in or near your home community.
A CAMVAP arbitrator is authorized to order certain, specific things which are called “remedies”. You will be asked to pick the remedies you want when you fill out your Claim Form.
At the hearing you should present all of the information needed to convince the arbitrator to decide your claim in your favour. This includes the testimony of witnesses and documents. You will find detailed help with your presentation in a companion guide called Getting Ready for CAMVAP.
Yes. You should track your efforts to resolve the problem with your vehicle by noting who you spoke with at the dealership or manufacturer and when. You should also keep all relevant documents such as invoices, letters, service records, bills of sale, work orders, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, lease agreements or other contracts. These may be necessary to prove the facts of your case.
You do not need a lawyer for CAMVAP, but if you feel more comfortable having a lawyer advise you and make your presentation, you may do so at your expense. You also have the option of having a friend or family member assist you. Manufacturers do not usually bring lawyers to CAMVAP hearings.
You can and should bring to the hearing anyone who has relevant information to help prove your claim.
CAMVAP hearings are conducted in one of Canada’s official languages, English or French. For all other languages CAMVAP can arrange an interpreter at your expense.
No. You may discuss your involvement in the plan, including the arbitrator’s Award, as you see fit.
CAMVAP periodically posts case results on its website or reports publicly on case outcomes, but it does not circulate copies of Awards to arbitrators or other parties and it will not disclose information that identifies you personally.
For a copy of our Annual Report, please visit our 'News and Reports' section.
CAMVAP’s arbitrators are arms-length service providers who have completed training that is specific to the plan. They sign a contract with CAMVAP to uphold its standards and ethics. They are not automobile experts but can call upon technical expertise at any time during your case.
In each Canadian province or territory the courts oversee the arbitration process and arbitration legislation sets out when you can ask a court to set aside an arbitrator’s decision or order a new hearing.
Like you, the manufacturer is legally bound by the arbitrator’s Award and will carry it out as part of its commitment to CAMVAP. If one of you does not obey an Award, you or the manufacturer may ask the court to enforce it.
You will receive a fair hearing before an impartial arbitrator. Consumers with vehicle problems or warranty concerns like yours have used CAMVAP since 1994 and have given CAMVAP arbitrators high ratings for being courteous, professional and fair.
From start to finish, the CAMVAP process takes about 70 to 90 calendar days. Your hearing should be set up within fifty (50) calendar days of receiving your completed application. Then, within fourteen (14) calendar days after your hearing, we will send you a copy of the arbitrator’s Award. If an inspection of your vehicle is ordered by the arbitrator about twenty (20) calendar days is added to the process. If a decision regarding program eligibility is required by an Arbitrator, an eligibility hearing will be held. This will add about twenty (20) calendar days to the process.
CAMVAP works to meet the timeframes set out in the Agreement for Arbitration, but sometimes there may be delays that will lengthen the time it takes to complete the CAMVAP process. Also, some time process timeframes are extended over the new year’s holiday season, however, the times to submit an application and for implementation of the award are not extended.
If your hearing is held in person, it will be held in a hotel meeting room, a business office setting, community centre or similar facility as close to your home as possible. Alternatively, it may be held by teleconference or video conference if both you and the manufacturer agree to do so.
Hearings are less formal than court. Witnesses take an oath or make a solemn promise to tell the truth but you do not have to use special language. Other than common courtesy, there are no special rules about how to behave.
Although CAMVAP is less formal than court, the general pattern of a CAMVAP hearing is similar to court. The arbitrator leads everyone through the process. You (the “claimant”) make the first presentation. The manufacturer’s representative (the “respondent”) goes second. Then you may reply to anything new that the respondent brings up.
There are no fees to use CAMVAP but it will cost you time to prepare and present your claim and possibly fees and expenses for your lawyer, witnesses or interpreter.
Once the arbitrator makes a decision, it is final. You and the manufacturer have limited rights to ask a court to set aside an arbitrator’s decision or allow a new hearing, but this will not happen just because one of you does not like the final outcome.
When the manufacturer fully carries out the Award, your claim is over and the manufacturer is released from any responsibility for it.
CAMVAP is entirely voluntary and you are in the best position to judge whether it is right for you. You may go to court for your dispute or you may use CAMVAP, but you may not do both.
Before deciding on CAMVAP, research other available options such as going to court, negotiating with the manufacturer, selling or trading in your vehicle or taking no action at this time. Check into consumer protection laws in your province or territory. Weigh the pros and cons of CAMVAP and any other options that you have, then pick the option that makes the most sense for you.
To qualify for CAMVAP, you must meet certain, specific conditions. These are called eligibility criteria and they are spelled out in detail in the Agreement for Arbitration.