Consumer Protection

Complaint Claim or Court Action

Complaint, Claim or Court Action

When you have a dispute with a motor dealer, but are unable to reach a solution, you may file a complaint with the VSA. And, if the dealer is no longer in business, you may file a compensation fund claim. If the VSA has jurisdiction over your complaint or it is an eligible claim, it will be investigated. There is no cost to filing a complaint or claim with the VSA. Your dispute may also be resolved through legal action. The cost and benefits of going to court need to be considered due to the filing fee and the cost of any legal support. Seeking legal advice is recommended.

Why is filing a complaint or claim with the VSA and starting a court action at the same time not recommended?  Both the VSA and the courts have jurisdiction in applying the deceptive and unconscionable act provisions of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (BPCPA). The VSA will usually suspend an investigation while a court is acting. The VSA is bound to follow the decisions of the B.C. Supreme Court and should follow the decisions of the Provincial Court.

I’ve filed a complaint or claim with the VSA and also filed in court. What now? Please notify the VSA. Your investigation will most likely be suspended.

Can I restart my consumer complaint or claim after a court ruling has been made? Once the court makes its ruling, the matter has been judged. The VSA and the Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund Board are not able to make a different decision.

If I don’t like the decision of the court, can the VSA continue its investigation? If you are unhappy with the decision of the court, you must appeal it through the courts. The court must also enforce any decision they make.

What will the VSA do after a court ruling has been made? The VSA will add the decision to the file of the dealer. If the court determined the law was broken, the VSA will review the business practices of the dealer. Licensing and compliance action may be taken, but no review of the original consumer complaint will occur.

Other VSA Fact Sheets:
How to Resolve a Dispute
VSA’s Legislative Authority
Use of the Vehicle
Legal Advice
Ministry of Justice Small Claims information

If you have any questions, please contact VSA Consumer Services.

NOTE: This is to provide general information and is not intended to be legal advice.