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“We want consumers to know about us” says Jim Savary, the Chair of the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan. “When something goes wrong with their vehicle and the problem cannot be resolved with the dealership, it helps the consumer to know that there is a dispute resolution program available to them”.
So, what is CAMVAP and how does it affect you?
CAMVAP has just released its 2007 annual report on its website at www.camvap.ca.
Some background will help:
CAMVAP is where consumers can go when they are not able to resolve a dispute with the manufacturer of their vehicle.
It’s an arbitration plan that is fast, fair, free, friendly and final. It covers vehicles from the current model year and back for four model years which translates at present to 2004 and newer. At September 30th, coverage will include 2005 and newer vehicles.
Does it really work?
In 2007, Arbitrators ordered 87 vehicles to be bought back for a total of just over $2,000,000.
Eighteen consumers received reimbursement of expenses totaling just over $44,000 or about $2,500 per case.
In the 302 arbitrated cases, there were 67 repair orders where the manufacturer was ordered to repair the consumer’s vehicle at its expense.
CAMVAP cases are about two issues: whether there is a manufacturing defect with the vehicle or whether the manufacturer has implemented its new vehicle warranty properly. The program is free of cost to consumers and is available to consumers in all provinces and territories.
One of the distinct advantages of the program is the simple fact it exists in the marketplace. It allows the consumer to be on a more level playing field with the manufacturer when a dispute arises. Both sides know that CAMVAP is an option if the dispute cannot be resolved.
More than 50% of consumers that first came to the program but who later did not complete the arbitration process did so because they were able to successfully resolve the issues with the manufacturer of their vehicle.
But even with these successful results some consumers don’t know that the program is available. Savary notes that “getting information out to consumers is difficult even though CAMVAP is mentioned in all of the participating manufacturers’ owner’s manuals or warranty handbooks”.
Savary also noted that not all manufacturers participate in CAMVAP. Those manufacturers that do participate in the program are Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, KIA, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
The two key manufacturers that do not participate in the program are BMW, which includes the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands and Mitsubishi. Savary notes “consumers should consider the absence of a dispute resolution program as part of their overall buying decision. There is less of an incentive to settle a dispute when CAMVAP is not an option available to the consumer and also to the manufacturer”.
To reach CAMVAP, consumers should either visit its website at www.camvap.ca or call 1-800-207-0685. Cases take about 70 days to complete. If an in person arbitration hearing is required, it will be held in the consumer’s home town or area.
General Manager, CAMVAP
416-490-0615 extension 201