VANCOUVER -- When you buy a car, it’s strongly recommended that you get a vehicle history report, but some of those Carfax reports consumers rely on so much may not always be accurate.

Tim Yang of Carboy Motors in Richmond says Carfax mistakes were driving his customers away. He identified several new owners reported on five of his vehicles in Carfax vehicle history reports, many within a few months of each other.

“We never transferred any ownerships; (they were) still in our hands, never sold,” Yang says.

For example, he found three new owners reported on a Ford Focus, four new owners reported on a BMW and three new owners reported on a Toyota Sienna within a short period of time. In all those cases, Yang says he still owned the vehicles.

He says those mistakes in the Carfax reports are driving potential buyers away.

“When buyers look at the report they say, 'Oh gee, why did you sell it so many times?'" Yang says.

“Who would buy a car, transferred to three ownerships in one month?” he asks. “Of course they believe Carfax because they are such a big company.” He's worried buyers believe there could be something wrong with the vehicle. 

Yang says he sent proof to Carfax that he was always the owner at the times the new owners were reported.

In an interview with CTV News Vancouver, Shawn Vording, the vice-president of automotive sales at Carfax Canada, said there's been a full investigation into Yang's complaint - and it has to do with the vehicles' insurance policies. 

“There is an inconsistency within Tim’s ownership of those vehicles and what is being provided to us by ICBC,” Vording said. “As he’s purchasing insurance policies for those vehicles, those policies are being pushed through as vehicle transfers,  which is being identified by the province as new ownership and is then being transmitted to us as a new owner.”

All the vehicle history reports have now be updated and corrected after Carfax verified the ownership information with Yang.

So what went wrong?

In addition to selling vehicles, Yang also rents them out sometimes, doing short-term leases for just a month, and that’s what caused the errors in new ownership being reported.

“It seems to be very unique to B.C.," Vording said. “It’s not a problem we’ve experienced anywhere else. (It) likely has to do with ICBC selling short term insurance policies for rentals and short term leases." 

But until it’s completely resolved it will still be up to Yang to monitor the vehicle history reports and to report errors to Carfax.

"We’ll work to get it rectified either with the province or internally," Vording said. "And we’re going to work with Tim to troubleshoot it a bit more as well.”

That's vital because of how much Yang's customers rely on Carfax reports.

“Anybody (who) wants to buy a car, they always ask for Carfax reports, always,” Yang says.