Months after used vehicle dealership CarOne filed for bankruptcy, former customers are still struggling with the financial loss.
“It was the worst experience of my life,” says Zack Migneault, a former CarOne customer.
“I regret it.”
Migneault is just one customer that CarOne left in the cold after the company filed for bankruptcy back in January — closing its doors in Kingston, Ont., and Belleville permanently.
“It doesn’t feel very good,” says Migneault. “I don’t feel comfortable driving my daughter around.”
Migneault says he bought a 2018 Hyundai Elantra from CarOne three months ago. A few days after he got it, he realized the car’s steering wheel locks.
Mignault says CarOne’s solution was to give him a new steering column, which was at the dealership when the company closed its doors.
“So now I am on the hook for it,” he says.
“And it’s going to cost around $2,000 to fix it.”
That is where the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) comes in.
“When there’s a situation like this, where there’s a company that is experiencing financial difficulties — listen, that’s why OMVIC is here,” says Maureen Harquail, CEO of OMVIC. “That’s why we were created 25 years ago.”
The not-for-profit corporation regulates motor vehicle sales in Ontario. It can provide compensation of up to $45,000 to customers of registered dealerships, like CarOne, to cover their financial losses.
Harquail says a significant number of customers have been affected by the CarOne closure, but it is difficult to know how just how many.
She says OMVIC wants to hear from CarOne customers who have suffered a financial loss.
“This is really a bit of a moving target, because of course we are reaching out,” says Harquail.
Migneault is still waiting to hear back from OMVIC about possible compensation.
For now, he’s saving up to pay for the repairs himself.
Former CarOne customers like Migneault can reach out to OMVIC about compensation at firstname.lastname@example.org.