A few days ago we posted on the price discrepancy between identical vehicles sold in the U.S. and Canada. The discrepancy was always there, but became apparent when the value of the Canadian Loonie reached parity with the U.S. dollar recently. It was then that consumers couldn't ignore the fact that they were paying more for vehicles than their U.S. neighbors, up to 38% in some cases.
The Toronto-based class-action lawsuit firm Juroviesky and Ricci is taking up the case and expected to file a $2 billion class-action suit on behalf of four Canadians who feel that they paid more for their cars than they would have in the U.S. The class-action suit is open to any Canadian consumer who bought a new vehicle between August, 2005 and August, 2007 when the Canadian dollar was rapidly appreciating, but the prices of Canadian cars weren't adjusting.
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[Source: Canada.com, photo by KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty]
The fact that cars cost more in Canada is hardly new information, and many Canadians simply cross the border and buy their new cars in the U.S. The class-action lawsuit, however, also charges that automakers conspired to inhibit this practice by making consumers sign "no-export clauses" preventing them from returning to Canada with their cars, as well as refusing to perform warranty work on cars purchased in the United States. Even dealers have gotten caught up in the mix, with U.S. dealerships allegedly being penalized for selling cars that were later exported and Canadian dealers threatened with termination if they didn't comply with these practices.
The lawsuit also names the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association and the National Automobile Dealers Association in the U.S as defendants. Cases like this have been brought up before apparently, but have been long, drawn out affairs with little ultimate effect on the issue at hand. With the Loonie and US dollar at hovering around parity, however, the discrepancies are now shockingly apparent.