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Toronto Summit Addresses Key Legal Matters

Autosphere » Dealerships » Toronto Summit Addresses Key Legal Matters

Legal team from Fasken Martineau brings into focus issues facing auto sector.

The business law and litigation firm Fasken Martineau this week hosted an Automotive Summit in Toronto to inform and update stakeholders on a variety of legal issues currently (or about to) affect the automotive sector.

The thoroughly contemporary world of cybersecurity and marketing was up first, led by partner Daniel Fabiano. He described the ways in which last year’s Ashley Madison data breach and subsequent changes to compliance principles affect dealers in possession of personal client information, as well as how telematics can raise compliance issues for dealers using digital marketing strategies.

Partner Rosalind Cooper’s segment on Proposed Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act included new mandatory recall provisions, orders to correct defective/non-compliant vehicles prior to sale, a prospective increase in inspector powers and a revised penalty structure.

In “Revisiting NAFTA, Border Tax Adjustment, CETA Application and TPP Automotive Rules,” partner Clifford Sosnow speculated on what effect the US administration’s prospective actions on some of our most impactful trade deals might have.

As one of the largest markets in the country, legal decisions in Quebec are of interest to dealers across Canada, especially with regard to its Consumer Protection Act and commercial advertising. Associate Noah Boudreau said that the province’s dual low thresholds—its standards for an arguable case and its regard for consumers as “credulous and inexperienced”—was creating a “paradise” for class action suits.

The half-day event’s keynote speaker, renowned analyst Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, shared his thoughts on potential contemporary “disruptors,” ie new products and services that can significantly weaken or transform existing products and services. Especially in combination with the development of technologies such as BEVs and autonomous vehicles, DesRosiers described ride-hailing companies as perhaps the most likely threat to the status quo, although he said it would take years before their “true disruptive elements” would be known.

With their summit, the Fasken Martineau team put these complex legal matters into relevant context for retailers. We’ll have more in-depth information about many of the topics covered in future issues of Auto Journal.

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