Updated November 8, 2023
Otolane is an online used vehicle auction platform (the "System") exclusively for the use of registered motor vehicle dealers. The goal of the System is to provide a user-friendly, honest and efficient means for the buying and selling of vehicles dealers.
At Otolane, we encourage our valued customers to familiarize themselves with this policy in depth and to not conduct any business via the System until they have done so.
Any revisions or changes to the policy may be subject to change and Otolane will do its best to inform customers within a reasonable timeframe of any changes.
This policy is not in place to be used as a bargaining tool to negotiate lower pricing on vehicles. It is important for all buyers to understand that when purchasing in the used vehicle wholesale marketplace, there is a certain level of wear and tear that should be expected along with all mechanical, body and miscellaneous other disclosures provided on the platform within a vehicle’s listing.
We have added a quick reference below to give our customers an idea as to whether a vehicle is eligible for arbitration. Only undisclosed issues are eligible for arbitration and are subject to the dollar thresholds described under Section 5—General Policies. Please refer to the table below:
Sellers are required to disclose any major mechanical issues that would affect the value of the vehicle and cannot hide behind an AS-IS designation. Any AS-IS vehicle sold with a sale price of $3,000 or more that has a major undisclosed mechanical issue may lead to arbitration in Otolane's sole discretion.
Any vehicle sold for less than $3,000 is not subject to mechanical arbitration, regardless of whether it is designated AS-IS. Any vehicle sold for less than $2,000 is not subject to mechanical or structural arbitration, regardless of whether it is designated AS-IS.
Nonstandard and Modified Vehicles: kit vehicles, homemade vehicles, or modified vehicles are sold AS-IS and cannot be arbitrated for mechanical, odometer, frame, VIN plates, warranty books, or model year. These vehicles are strictly AS-IS and are sold as buyer beware however, a seller must disclose as much as they know and arbitration may be considered if there is a cause or concern for seller deceit.
Please note that vehicles not intended for use on a public roadway (e.g., watercraft, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, ATV’s, tractor trailers, farm equipment and trailers) are sold strictly AS-IS and are not subject to arbitration.
Any vehicle placed in arbitration will require an inspection to determine the cause and cost of repair. The shop must be approved by Otolane but is no longer required to be a franchise store due to the rising costs for franchised inspections. The arbitration department will deal directly with the chosen shop to ensure transparency is maintained.
Once an arbitration is complete, the party that loses the arbitration will be responsible for the inspection fee and the transport fee. At Otolane's discretion, a nominal arbitration fee of $100 may also be charged.
All vehicles purchased via the System must be picked up within five (5) business days of being marked "Arrived" on the System in order to qualify for any potential arbitration claims. Otolane, in its sole discretion and in exceptional cases only, may allow a buyer's arbitration case outside the five (5) business day pick-up timeframe if the buyer can prove that third-party transportation services were ordered promptly and without delay.
Upon picking up a vehicle purchased via Otolane, the buyer must contact Otolane by either emailing email@example.com or calling 1 (888) 985-0201; extension 224. Please include the trade details such as VIN, buyer contact information and seller contact information and the reason for arbitration. Please refer to Section 3—Arbitration Timeframes below for further details. If the vehicle is not able to be driven and was not disclosed as requiring a tow, please contact the arbitration department.
Please ensure when opening an arbitration, any and all concerns must be submitted at initial request. Once a case is open, no items can be added to the arbitration. Buyers must inspect vehicle purchases thoroughly and in a timely manner to ensure that the initial arbitration request covers all concerns and potential issues with the purchased vehicle.
If the dispute is related to undisclosed vehicle damage or an undisclosed major repair, an impartial report will be required from a shop approved by Otolane. The report must identify undisclosed major repairs in excess of the dollar thresholds described under Section 4—General Policies below.
Arbitration may result in the cancellation of the sale, a partial refund at the seller's expense, or a repair at the seller's expense. In the event of a canceled sale (as stated above), the party who loses the arbitration will be responsible for transport and inspection fees as discussed in greater detail under Section 5—General Policies—Arbitration Decisions and Remedies below.
Once a decision is rendered by the Otolane arbitrator or a settlement is reached between the buyer and seller and the sale remains sold, the vehicle becomes AS-IS property to the buyer. All decisions set forth by the Otolane arbitration department are final and binding under the Terms and Conditions governing the use of the System.
3. Arbitration Timeframes
Standard Arbitration Timeframe
Standard arbitration cases must be submitted within two (2) business days of picking up the vehicle. Please see the disclosure table at the end of this policy to ensure your vehicle qualifies for arbitration. Any component considered wear and tear is not subject to arbitration.
Extended Arbitration Timeframe
Extended arbitration cases must be submitted within seven (7) calendar days of picking up the vehicle. Please see the disclosure table at the end of this policy to ensure your vehicle qualifies for arbitration.
Otolane reserves the right to extend the relevant arbitration timeframe if it is reasonable and just to do so (e.g., transportation between provinces or transportation delays).
Please note that Otolane strives to have all arbitration cases handled within five (5) business days. We ask that you check your emails and phone messages regularly when you have an open arbitration case. This will ensure we can attain a high level of customer service for both parties involved. If one party fails to respond in a timely manner, Otolane at its discretion, may impose a settlement based on a final decision rendered by Otolane. Business days are Monday to Friday and exclude Saturdays, Sundays and holidays in the Province of Ontario.
Arbitration rights are void if a vehicle is driven more than 300 km after it is picked up from the seller. If there is an issue with the vehicle that would normally be subject to arbitration, it is the buyer’s responsibility to report any concerns prior to driving the vehicle a distance of more than 300 km. Please ensure that the odometer is photographed at time of pick up to confirm the mileage.
Drivers should be familiar with the disclosures on the listing and report any possible concerns to the buying dealer prior to leaving with the vehicle if the distance to the buyer’s location is more than 300 km.
Please note that arbitration is not available for vehicles that have left Canada.
Verification of Purchase
Buyers should always keep in mind that when purchasing a used vehicle, it should be handled with care. The proper research and understanding of the vehicle's listing page will minimize the number of arbitrations being carried out within the System as a whole. Buyers are encouraged to review their purchase prior to leaving the seller's lot to ensure accuracy of the listing. If the vehicle is not drivable and was not disclosed as requiring a tow, please contact the arbitration department before leaving the dealership of purchase as described under Section 2—Arbitration Procedures above.
It is the responsibility of the sellers and buyers to verify the information made available in the vehicle history report attached to every trade, before launching an auction or placing a bid. All declared information in said report is not subject to arbitration. Should there be conflicting information on the vehicle's listing, the onus will be placed on the seller to prove otherwise.
If the seller cannot prove the conflicting information, the buyer has the right to file for arbitration and the arbitration will be awarded to the buyer.
It is the buyer's responsibility to confirm the odometer reading when receiving the vehicle. Please note that arbitration is available for discrepancies of 3,000 km or 5%, whichever is less.
Arbitration Dollar Threshold
Please note that there is a dollar threshold for undisclosed vehicle damage and major repairs. For vehicles sold for less than $40,000, the dollar threshold is $750 per discrete issue, calculated before taxes and on a non-cumulative basis (i.e., issues cannot be combined to meet threshold). For vehicles sold for $40,000 or more, the dollar threshold is 2% of the vehicle sale price per discrete issue, calculated before taxes and on a non-cumulative basis. Catalytic converter issues are also subject to the foregoing dollar thresholds.
Vehicle History Reports
A vehicle may not be arbitrated solely based on information contained in a Vehicle History Report (VHR). Otolane may investigate VHRs with regards to odometer records and accident reports to determine validity of any arbitration claim. Vehicle History Report information deemed to be incorrect will not be used to arbitrate a vehicle.
Wearable items are parts of the vehicle that the manufacturer lists as needing replacement during the expected life span of the vehicle. These items can be reviewed in the owner's manual and include, but are not limited to wipers, brake pads, shoes, calipers, belts, hoses, lubricants, fluids, bulbs, filters, wheel bearings, shocks, struts and manual clutch.
Normal Wear and Tear is damage that is considered normal for the age and mileage on the vehicle. Scratches, minor nicks, cuts, scuffs, small rust marks, minor door dents fall under normal wear and tear. Noise and Inherent Conditions are not subject to arbitration unless deemed "excessive" by the arbitrator. OEM guidelines will be used to determine if the claim is valid or not. Please note that complete inoperability of a manual clutch will be subject to arbitration if it is not disclosed.
Arbitration Decisions and Remedies
Upon completion of an investigation, the arbitrator will determine whether a claim is valid. If an arbitration is determined to be valid, the arbitrator will attempt to mediate a settlement agreement between buyer and seller. However, if an agreement cannot be reached between the buyer and the seller, the arbitrator is empowered to make any remedy that he or she considers to be fair and reasonable in the circumstances, including, but not limited to, canceling the sale or ordering that a cash adjustment be paid by seller to buyer. The decision of the arbitrator is final and binding.
It is a seller's obligation to make all required disclosures about the history and condition of the seller's vehicle. Please note that any announcement made by a seller in the "Messages" section of the vehicle details page is binding on any buyer who submits a bid after such announcement is made.
Otolane provides a free capture representative service to certain high volume customers that provides a visual inspection only and no mechanical or structural investigation. The capture representatives do their very best to ensure capture accuracy; however, it is the seller's responsibility to review the accuracy of all listings prior to launching. In the event of a listing error, the seller acknowledges and takes full responsibility if the error results in an arbitration. Any OBD II codes that are provided in a vehicle listing are for informational purposes only and do not impact a buyer's arbitration rights; however, as normal, no arbitration will be available for any issue that is declared as requiring repair (e.g., Engine Needs Repair, Transmission Needs Repair, etc.).
Required Disclosure Table