Buyer Beware

Warning"If this is illegal, how come they are selling it at the store?" This question is common in response to corrective action taken after inspecting an illegally equipped vehicle at the roadside. In some cases the question is asked in an attempt to deflect responsibility, and in others it is asked out of genuine good faith.

About two thirds of a page was devoted to vehicle dress up items in the sale flyer of one of our local automotive businesses last week. A number of items shown are not legal to install or use on vehicles operated on B.C. highways. Nowhere in the advertising was any indication that these items were for off road use only or that the purchaser should check the law before making the purchase.

Section 222 of the Motor Vehicle Act is meant to provide some protection for the consumer. It is an offence for the business to sell or offer to sell equipment for a motor vehicle or trailer that is contrary to the law. By doing so, the business opens itself up to the possibility of charges and to civil liability should the equipment cause a problem.

Whenever I hear the question asked at the start of this column, I always suggest to the person that they go back to the business with a copy of this section. They may try to return the item and demand that their money be returned to them. If they were truly ignorant of the legality of the equipment, they may also consider civil action against the vendor to recover damages.

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Buyer beware

I do not know why over rescent years there has not been a crackdown on these raised suspension 4x4s. In the area I live, Trail, Rossland and Castlegar there are many of these units. I mentioned before that oversised tires, no splash guards, tires out past the wheel wells, headlights blinding to on coming traffic, and many with driving lights on light bars on the cab roofs without covers and the list goes on. I have talked to MVI at the scales and it is concern they have, but between them and the RCMP these vehicles still travel our highways and not a thing is being done. I know for a fact at a safety check these units would not pass inspection. I have over the last few months written down the make, colour and licence numbers of at least two dozen of these vehicles and soon I will drop into the Local RCMP detatchment in Trail and present them with this list and ask why something is not being done. I have a feeling that I may be wasting my time.
Great articles, Richard Migneault, Rossland,B.C.

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