In April 2009, The Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan (CAMVAP) celebrates its 15th year of successfully providing automotive dispute resolution services to the Canadian marketplace.
It’s the Canadian way. Find a way for 13 governments and 16 automobile manufacturers to agree on how to resolve consumers’ issues with their vehicles. CAMVAP first opened its doors on April 4th, 1994 and has become a national program that provides services to consumers across the country. James Savary, a consumer representative and Chair of the CAMVAP Board of Directors said, “CAMVAP has been a groundbreaking and innovative approach to resolving consumers concerns about their vehicles. It provides a great service to all parties involved.”
CAMVAP covers two types of disputes with vehicle manufacturers.
The most frequent disputes raised by consumers are allegations of defects in vehicle assembly. The other type of dispute is over the application or administration of the manufacturer’s new vehicle warranty.
CAMVAP’s customer satisfaction record is exemplary. In 2007 a survey found that 74% of consumers that used the program rated their experience with CAMVAP as excellent or good. Savary added, “The success of the CAMVAP program can be largely attributed to the commitment of participating manufacturers and their authorized dealers to see a fair and balanced outcome for their customers when disputes arise and cannot be resolved. While vehicle manufacturers are building better quality vehicles and try to resolve consumer concerns as soon as possible, the no cost CAMVAP program remains an effective ‘court of last resort’.”
CAMVAP will continue to work to provide consumers and manufacturers with a fair, fast, free, and friendly way to resolve disputes.
Consumers can find out more about CAMVAP by referring to the participating manufacturer’s warranty handbook or operator’s manual or by contacting CAMVAP directly at 1-800-207-0685 or clicking at www.camvap.ca.
- CAMVAP covers disputes about allegations of defects in vehicle assembly or about the application or implementation of the manufacturer’s new vehicle warranty. Program eligibility includes vehicles from the current model year (2009) plus 4 model years (presently 2005) that have travelled less than 160,000 kilometers.
- Since 1994, CAMVAP’s provincial administrators across the country have handled just over 108,000 consumer contacts. Many of these contacts are for information about the program and how to take the steps needed to resolve issues with the manufacturers. At the end of 2008, consumers had filed 8005 claim forms with the program since 1994. This ranges from a low of three in Nunavut Territory to 3,835 claims filed in Ontario.
- About 70% of all cases handled favour the consumer.
- During the same period CAMVAP arbitrators ordered 1183 buybacks of consumer vehicles for a value of $23.9 million dollars. In these cases the CAMVAP arbitrator found a buyback to be the fairest remedy, given the evidence presented at the hearing.
- Repair orders are another remedy and are a significant part of the CAMVAP program. Since 2000 more than 1800 repair orders have been made by CAMVAP arbitrators. These are orders which require the manufacturer to repair the vehicle as directed by the arbitrator. The case can go back to the arbitrator if the vehicle is not repaired properly or if the problem recurs within 90 days following completion of the repairs.
- Another award that consumers can receive through CAMVAP is reimbursement for repairs for which the consumer was obliged to pay. Since 1994, CAMVAP arbitrators have made 637 reimbursement orders, valued at just over $877,000. These are for customers who just want a refund of their payment for specific repairs to their vehicle. In such cases the customer has generally been denied warranty repairs but believes that the manufacturer should have been responsible for those repairs.
- The program also provides for nominal out-of-pocket allowances for items such as towing, diagnostic testing and emergency accommodations for problems caused by the vehicle.
- In 2008 CAMVAP handled 346 cases. An additional 34 cases were withdrawn by the consumer and 7 were found to be ineligible.
- The table below lists those manufacturers that belong to the CAMVAP program. CAMVAP’s goal is to persuade all vehicle manufacturers that sell in Canada to participate in the program.
|In the Program
|Not in the Program
Process for Consumers
It is easy for consumers to contact CAMVAP. Call 1-800-207-0685 from anywhere in Canada or click on to www.camvap.ca. The website is rich in information about CAMVAP and how to apply for the program. The application process can be started right from the website.
416-490-0615 ext 201
|Provinces||General Inquiries||Claim Forms Received|
|Prince Edward Island||220||43|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||1,726||318|
|Buy-Backs||Total # of cases||Total $|
|Prince Edward Island||4||$55,787.45|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||58||$1,069,567.51|
|Reimbursement for Repairs||Total # of cases||Total $|
|Prince Edward Island||3||$2,649.43|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||20||$17,777.49|