2012 Toyota Prius (Photo : 2012 Toyota Prius)
Consumer advocates in Canada are demanding a new mandate on vehicles manufactured by automakers.
Consumers advocates have appealed to the Competition Bureau in Canada to investigate why Canadian nationals are paying thousands of dollars more than American citizens for vehicles built in Canada.
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On the filed complaints, the CBC News disclosed details of prices of 26 models built in Ontario by the major automakers such as Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota. It was found that in most of the 20 cases, auto makers and their latest models cost thousands of dollars more to buy in Ontario than in the U.S. which included Hawaii.
Counting on the manufacturer's announced retail prices, Toyota Rav4, the two-wheel drive costs anywhere between $22,650 in Honolulu and added with additional charge for Freight and Pre-delivery Inspection (FPI) of $810.
Chantel Bowen, the Ford Canada spokeswoman, said: "The company prices its vehicles to be competitive in the Canadian market and said the actual price may vary. Manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRPs) in Canada and the U.S. are 'suggested' retail prices. What a customer actually pays for a vehicle is negotiated with the dealer.
Robert Lamb, founder of the website Cars without Borders, believes U.S. car dealers are obeying the orders from automakers to turn Canadian buyers away.
"If you're a U.S. dealer you're not going to sell a brand-new car to a Canadian and that's it, and if you do you'll lose your licence, you'll be penalized. So, dealers across the states are not selling new cars to Canadians," Lamb said.
In a response to the email sent by CBC News, the Competition Bureau said: "it conducts its investigations confidentially and so would not comment on whether it had received any complaints about anti-competitive practices by car manufacturers or whether it has any investigations on the subject."