W5 Goes Looking for Used Car Deals and Exposes Questionable Schemes and Dubious Practices in Hidden-Camera Investigation

— April 10, 2014

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TORONTO (April 10, 2014)W5 goes undercover to check under the hood of used cars for sale, discovering no shortage of unscrupulous practices. Premiering Saturday, April 12 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV GO, and also available on-demand on CTV News GO, “DRIVER BEWARE” reveals findings of W5’s latest hidden-camera investigation, conducted annually in partnership with the Automobile Protection Association (APA). The W5 report reveals a record failing grade for the dealers surveyed, and exposes deceitful sales tactics used by some car sellers.

 

Also in this episode, W5’s “MADE IN CHINA” examines the growing pollution problem unfolding in China and the negative health effects on the country and its citizens.

 

W5 reporter Tom Kennedy casts an investigative lens on the used car market in Canada’s biggest city, using hidden cameras and secret shoppers in a test across the Greater Toronto Area. The survey reveals deals too good to be true, and that turn sour when sellers tack on extra fees or turn out to be ‘curbsiders’ – unlicenced dealers posing as private sellers. W5 also uncovers a much more serious problem: rebuilt cars that, according to the APA’s mechanics, should have never been certified as roadworthy. In Ontario, as in other provinces, some cars written off by insurance companies following accidents are sold as wrecks, but can be rebuilt and put back on the road. These vehicles cannot be resold until they have passed safety inspections mandated by the Ministry of Transportation. In several instances, the APA found vehicles with poor or incomplete repairs and other signs that the cars should have never passed structural inspections, but somehow did.

 

The findings of W5 and the APA surface just as the Government of Ontario has introduced legislation it claims will improve repair practices surrounding the rebuilding and resale of wrecks written off by insurance companies.

 

In the second story of the evening, W5 investigates pollution in China. The country has environmental laws modelled after those of western countries, but in practice, environmentalists claim, it fails to enforce them – seeking economic growth at the expense of the environment. CTV’s Beijing correspondent Janis Mackey-Frayer travels to the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), China’s industrial heartland, and finds poisoned lakes and rivers, and contaminated farmland. Factories in the YRD make goods for much of the world, including Canada. In Beijing and nearby Heibei Province, she finds choking clouds of industrial pollutants that settle over the Chinese capital. The smog, which is often thick enough to prevent citizens from leaving their homes, is believed to be linked to detrimental health effects including headaches, sore throats, and what is known as the “Beijing cough”. As residents of China try to cope, the country looks for ways to reverse the impact of years of environmental degradation.

W5 also repeats on CTV on Sundays at 4 p.m. ET, and can be seen on Investigation Discovery on Tuesdays at 11 p.m. ET, and Wednesdays 12 noon ET; on demand at CTVNews.ca/W5; the CTV GO App and CTV News GO App, the CTV Mobile channel on Bell Mobile TV, and through video on demand partners, such as Bell Fibe TV (visit CTV.ca for local listings). W5 is also simulcast in Toronto on CFRB NEWSTALK1010.

 

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About W5

With an ongoing commitment to covering tough, relevant stories with fair and responsible reporting, W5 is in its 48th season of investigative journalism. Hosted by CTV NEWS’ Lloyd Robertson, W5 is the most-watched documentary program in Canada, and the winner of several awards including the prestigious Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism. Anton Koschany is Executive Producer of W5. Brett Mitchell is Senior Producer. Wendy Freeman is President, CTV News.

 

About CTV
CTV is Canada's #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 12 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at CTV.ca.

 

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Patricia Garcia, Bell Media, 416.384.2645 or patricia.garcia@bellmedia.ca