Kelowna to Vancouver towing trip goes south leading to legal fight

TM-Rides, a Metro Vancouver car sales company, brought a legal fight against a BC towing company after it forced TM-Rides to pay to get its car back.

Toluyemi Malomo, the president of TM-Rides, purchased a 2006 Toyota from an auction in Kelowna in January 2023.

He asked Mario’s Towing to tow the vehicle from Kelowna to Vancouver, paying $525.

An estimated time to complete the delivery wasn’t met, and Mario’s Towing gave Malomo a refund. However, it then issued an invoice for $369.67 in storage fees for holding the car, demanding payment before it was released from the lot.

Malomo claimed $4,969.67 for reimbursement of the storage fees, the cost of transporting the vehicle, legal advice, inconvenience, and punitive damages. Mario’s asked the tribunal to dismiss the case.

In a publicly posted BC Civil Resolution Tribunal decision, the tribunal agreed with some of Malomo’s claims.

Mario’s Towing estimated when the car would be delivered. After failing to meet its scheduled time, it agreed to refund Malomo.

An email revealed that after making arrangements to pick up the car, Malomo would be charged $20.77 per day in storage fees. When TM-Rides finally collected the car, it paid $369.67 for storage.

TM-Rides then emailed Malomo asking for a refund of the storage fees but received no response.

The tribunal determined that TM-Rides was entitled to a refund because it never agreed to pay Mario’s storage fees. The only reason it did was to release the car.

Further, the tribunal found no evidence that Mario’s Towing told TM-Rides about potential storage fees ahead of time.

While the tribunal dismissed other claims from TM-Rides, it ordered Mario’s Towing to pay $480.91 for a refund of storage and tribunal fees within 14 days of the decision.