Latest Automotive News

Subscribe in a reader




Auto Price Quote
Get a free auto price
quote from Edmunds!

Canadian couple challenges refusals of new car purchase in United States

Email   small font medium font large font

Google
 
Web AutoNews24h.com

A Canadian couple who say they were turned down dozens of times when they tried to buy a new car in the United States are challenging what they regard as illegal discrimination.

Rhonda Chancey and Allan Coombs, a married couple from Paradise, Nfld., claim that more than 80 New England dealerships, including 61 in Maine, refused their business.

Chancey and Coombs filed a discrimination complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission and plan to sue five car companies. Similar complaints are planned in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, according to the couple's lawyer, Stephanie Jazlowiecki of Topsham.

Jazlowiecki said General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge were seeking to maximize profits by not allowing Canadians to take advantage of their strong dollar and buy new cars in the United States, where prices are much lower.

``The dealerships' uniform denial of sales of new vehicles to Canadian citizens is a blatant pattern and practice of nation of origin discrimination,'' Jazlowiecki told the Bangor Daily News.

``Individual dealerships claim they are not allowed or that it is illegal to sell to Canadians. But this would appear to be a patent violation of state and federal anti-discrimination laws, as well as federal anti-competition statutes,'' she said.

Automakers impose the same rule on Canadian dealerships, barring U.S. residents from buying vehicles when the dollar is particularly strong, Jazlowiecki said.

Chancey and Coombs visited most of the dealerships and e-mailed some of them in the last two months, Jazlowiecki said.

In many cases, sales staff only became aware of the manufacturer's rule against selling to Canadians when they tried to go forward with a transaction, the lawyer said. She said dealers were permitted to sell the couple a used vehicle.

Savings can be significant. A $40,000 Cadillac Escalade in the United States now fetches about $80,000 in Canada, Jazlowiecki said.

Last month, consumer advocacy groups in Canada filed a class-action lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court seeking $2 billion in general damages and $100 million in punitive damages from General Motors, Honda, Chrysler and Nissan for allegedly fixing car prices 25 per cent to 35 per cent higher in Canada than in the United States.

Jazlowiecki said her clients' case could also warrant class-action status. She said she has ``been getting calls left and right'' from Canadians who also have tried unsuccessfully to purchase cars in the U.S.

Chancey and Coombs finally did buy a car, a 2008 Pontiac Torrent. A relative in New Hampshire purchased it for them at a local dealership and then sold it to the couple.

Even though they had to pay transfer tax and sales tax twice, the
vehicle was still cheaper than it would have been in Canada,
Jazlowiecki said.

Receive the latest automotive news by email!

Enter your email address:


Find the new car you want on cars.com

Related news
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 ...
A soaring loonie pushed the number of cars Canadians purchased south of the border in October to nearly 25,000 _ an increase of more than one hundred per cent over the same ...
CAW president Buzz Hargrove and federal Industry Minister Jim Prentice are grappling with what to do about the 1,100 additional layoffs at Chrysler Canada that are part of a broader restructuring by the ...
Ottawa wants to add more U.S. anti-theft devices to its list of vehicle immobilizers that meet Canadian standards, a move designed to make it easier for Canadians to import U.S. vehicles, said Transport ...
TORONTO (CP) _ As Canadians grapple with the choice between satellite radio providers Sirius and XM, automaker Subaru as usual is going its own way and has chosen both, but in different ...
BERLIN (AP) _ DaimlerChrysler AG plans to start selling its micro two-seater Smart car in the United States in 2007, say published reports. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that DaimlerChrysler plans to soon ...
The all-black Saab Turbo X, which made its world debut at the Frankfurt auto show last year, is now arriving at Saab dealership around the United States. Celebrating thee decades of Saab turbocharging ...
Crossover vehicle sales have grown substantially since the mid-1990s to about 2.4 million last year. Listed are the top-selling crossovers in the United States for the first eight months of this year: Vehicle Sales Honda ...
September auto sales in the United States are expected to be weak due to a credit crunch, high gas prices and the troubled housing market, reflecting an overall slowdown for the year ...
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ EU regulators have given Cerberus Capital Management the go-ahead for its purchase of the money-losing Chrysler car division from DaimlerChrysler AG. The European Commission approved the US$7.4-billion deal automatically because ...

Best Investment Newsletter

- 46% in 2008

- invest in the best performing US stocks only and sell them when the uptrend is over

- very easy to follow, simple buy/sell signals

- no need to have investing or trading experience

Find More Now!


Canadian couple challenges refusals of new car purchase in United States
> © 2006-2011 AutoNews24h.com except where otherwise noted