Windsor Repair Shop Fined for Selling Vehicles Illegally

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A Windsor auto repair shop has been fined $50,000 for selling vehicles illegally, according to the Ontario Vehicle Sales Regulator.

The Downtown Auto Center, located at 663 Glengarry Ave. along with company owner, Mohsen Farahat, pleaded guilty to 20 charges of ‘curbsiding,’ which means the business was acting as a dealer without registration. This practice is in contravention of the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act.

“Curbsiders are illegal, unlicensed dealers who usually pose as private sellers; but in this case, it was a business curbsiding,” stated John Carmichael, OMVIC CEO and Interim Registrar. “As a result, some consumers may have mistakenly believed they were dealing with a legitimate registered dealer and were entitled to the protections that normally provides. And this was definitely not a case where the accused was unaware he was breaking the law.”

OMVIC reps say Farahat’s application for registration was turned down in 2012 when the licensed mechanic applied.

The regulator says it was denied because he failed to provide accurate information in his application, specifically, a conviction under the Highway Traffic Act for issuing a Safety Standards Certificate to a vehicle found not to be in compliance with the vehicle standards. Farahat appealed the decision, but was unsuccessful. 

At the time, OMVIC reps say they cautioned Farahat against trading in motor vehicles.

“However, at the recent guilty plea, the court heard evidence Farahat and Downtown Auto Center had sold a large number of vehicles, most purchased from an auction that disposes of insurance company write-offs,” OMVIC reps said in a release.

Downtown Auto Center pleaded guilty to 15 counts of curbsiding and Farahat pleaded guilty to five counts. A $2,500 fine was levied for each count plus the mandatory Victim Fine Surcharge.