New Rules for Motor Vehicle Advertising and Information Disclosure Come into Force June 1, 2015

Although the Motor Vehicle Advertising and Information Disclosure legislation does not come into force until June 1, 2015, this information is intended to help you understand the laws governing motor vehicle advertising and information disclosure before it becomes law.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the advertising legislation take effect?

The advertising provisions will take effect on June 1, 2015.

However, the information disclosure provisions have been in force since December 31, 2011. On June 1, 2015, the information disclosure provisions will move from The Business Practices Act to The Consumer Protection Act.

Why has the Province of Manitoba made new law in this area?

After buying a home, buying a car is often the second largest financial investment a family can make. Therefore it’s important to ensure that the information that a consumer is receiving about a motor vehicle is clearly disclosed and truthful.

Who does this legislation apply to?

The legislation will apply to all motor vehicle dealers and their employees. All motor vehicle dealers have a requirement to ensure that their employees are aware of and in full compliance with the proposed legislation.

Does the legislation apply to manufacturers?

The legislation is designed to address advertising targeting the sale of motor vehicles to consumers by dealers.

Does the legislation apply to private sales?

The legislation will not apply to private sales. The Consumer Protection Act applies to transactions between a business and a consumer.

Does this legislation only apply to cars?

No, the legislation also applies to trucks and motorcycles.

Does the prohibition against false advertising apply to dealers who advertise over the internet?

Yes, the legislation applies to advertising published by any means. Businesses are also prohibited from making or providing false information about a vehicle to a consumer.

What has been the industry’s reaction to the proposed legislation?

This legislation is in response to the industry’s request that we address the issue of inaccurate motor vehicle advertisements. These new rules improve the advertising practices used in our marketplace; supporting competition at a higher standard. The legislation requires all businesses to show the total price of a vehicle in their advertisements – one that includes all fees, charges, taxes and levies. Increased disclosure and transparency increases consumer confidence in the businesses they deal with.

The Province also consulted with stakeholders and consumer groups who were supportive of our bringing in legislation to address motor vehicle advertising.

What is all-in pricing?

All-in pricing is when the advertised total amount a consumer has to pay for a vehicle includes all charges, fees, levies and taxes, except for PST and GST.

Price is a major factor when deciding which vehicle to purchase. By requiring all dealers to use all-in pricing in their advertisements, consumers will be better informed, can make better financial decisions and suffer fewer incidences of “sticker shock”.

What types of fees and charges are you talking about?

Many current vehicle advertisements exclude documentation fees, administration fees, tire taxes and delivery charges from the advertised price of a vehicle. These fees and associated costs can add up.

Advertised prices are also commonly subject to conditions, such as a minimum down payment or trade-in value. Not including these fees and charges or these conditions mislead consumers by making the advertised price appear less than the true price of the vehicle.

What other provisions are included in the Regulation?

In accordance with the Regulation, a motor dealer must:

  • Only advertise vehicles that are in a dealer’s inventory;
  • Indicate the time period applicable to limited time offers; and
  • Indicate the number of vehicles available at a specified price if the number of vehicles is limited; and
  • Not set out payment information in an advertisement more prominently than the total price.
  • Indicate in an advertisement that a vehicle was used declared salvage or used as a short-term rental or emergency vehicle, if that is true of the vehicle.

Does the legislation apply to used vehicle advertisements?

Yes, these rules apply to both new and used vehicle advertisements.

Further, there is a specific provision relating to advertisements for late model vehicles. If the vehicle being advertised is used, the advertisement must state this. This will ensure consumers are not misled into thinking a vehicle is new when it is used.

How does the Province intend to enforce this legislation?

The legislation will be enforced by the Consumer Protection Office, which has a variety of measures to use to achieve compliance, such as mediation, compliance orders, administrative penalties and prosecution.

Why did you move the Motor Vehicle Information Disclosure Regulation to Consumer Protection Act?

Consolidating the motor vehicle advertising and information disclosure provisions in one Act makes it easier for businesses to follow and comply with the legislation.

Have the information disclosure requirements for dealers changed?

No, the information disclosure requirements will remain unchanged. Motor vehicle dealers must still disclose information such as whether the vehicle is new or used, if a manufacturer’s warranty has been cancelled or if it was damaged by flood or fire. Dealers must also disclose any other facts about the vehicle history or its condition that might affect your decision to buy.

How will consumers know when you have taken enforcement action against a dealer?

The new rules allow the Consumer Protection Office to publicise compliance orders that have been issued and they also allow for the release of information to the public, when it is in the public interest to do so.