A Canadian couple filed a class-action lawsuit in
U.S. District Court claiming they are being illegally discriminated
against by car companies that turn down their business because
they're from Canada, their lawyer said Friday.
Rhonda Chancey and Allan Coombs, a married couple from
Newfoundland, filed the complaint Wednesday, according to Stephanie
Jazlowiecki, a lawyer in Topsham.
The complaint says General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Honda and
Toyota have rules forbidding U.S. dealers from selling their cars to
people from Canada, where car prices are much higher, Jazlowiecki
said. Denying Canadians the right to buy cars in the United States
is a blatant form of discrimination based on their country of
origin, she said.
There's no telling how many people will join the suit, she said.
``There are thousands of people who have been affected,'' she
Chancey and Coombs earlier filed a discrimination complaint with
the Maine Human Rights Commission before filing the federal court
The couple claims that more than 80 car dealerships in New
England, including 61 in Maine, refused their business when the
tried to buy a new car.
They finally got a new vehicle when a relative in New Hampshire
purchased it at a local dealership and then sold it to them. Even
after paying a transfer tax and a sales tax twice, the vehicle was
still cheaper than it would have been in Canada.
Auto industry representatives earlier had no comment on the
specifics of the complaint filed with the Maine Human Rights