Ontarian says auto dealership misled her with COVID-19 cleanup fee of $ 899

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TORONTO – When a Bradford, Ont. wife recently bought an SUV, she says she was surprised to see a charge of $ 899 on her contract. Laura Daly said she was led to believe by the dealership that this was a necessary cleaning charge due to COVID-19.

“As I was about to sign the bill of sale, I saw this very weird $ 899 fee, which was on the clay details list,” Daly told CTV News Toronto.

Daly said when she asked for more information on the charge, she was told it was related to COVID-19.

“I specifically asked before signing… ‘what is this? And the gentleman said thank you COVID, it’s your disinfection fee. So to me it looked like a mandatory disinfection fee and it’s COVID and it was a used car, ”Daly said.

Daly signed the contract, but over the next month he wanted a better explanation of the fee amount.

“I just want to figure out what it was and so far I haven’t gotten the right answer. $ 899 is a lot of money, ”Daly said.

CTV News Toronto has contacted the car dealership about this.

“Our dealership has never billed customers for COVID security protocols,” the dealership said. “Ms. Daly received $ 899 to make her car look like new as she requested. ”

The dealership said his vehicle had been thoroughly cleaned inside and out, including a clay bar and varnish to help protect the vehicle’s paintwork.

Sometimes when someone purchases a new or used car, the dealership may try to include add-ons like protection packages, warranties, or itemized charges.

These extras will cost people more and it is important to fully understand the additional cost before signing on the dotted line.

Daly filed a complaint with the Ontario Automotive Industry Council (OMVIC), which regulates dealerships.

OMVIC told CTV News Toronto that “dealers can set fees as they see fit”, but they must be “… clear and truthful when describing the features, benefits and prices associated with a sale” .

OMVIC said it spoke with the dealership and Daly to try to find an amicable solution, but to no avail.

Daly said she wanted to warn others to be careful of the extra charges.

“I really want others to be aware of whatever your purchase is, but especially a large purchase like a car, to make sure you check your papers,” Daly said.

It is also important to know that under Ontario law there is no cooling off period when purchasing a car because once a contract is signed in most cases it is will be considered a legally binding contract.

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