W5 closes its 46th season with an undercover investigation of used car sales, April 14 on CTV

W5 wraps up a season of powerful, informative and inspirational documentaries with an up-close investigation of the world of used car sales.

Conducted in partnership with the Automobile Protection Association (APA), W5’s annual hidden-camera investigation (“Used & Abused”) airs this Saturday, April 14 at 7 p.m. ET on CTV and CTV Mobile.

CTV’s Seamus O’Regan, on special assignment for W5, uncovers the tricks used by “curb siders” who misrepresent themselves as ordinary individuals who claim to be selling the family vehicle, while often flipping badly repaired cars to unsuspecting buyers, and then disappear without a trace.

Also in this episode, W5 explores Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the fourth most common mental disorder in the world, affecting an estimated one million Canadians. In “The Obsession” CTV’s Health Correspondent Avis Favaro, takes an intimate look at an intensive new therapy that is helping successfully overcome the symptoms that hijack their lives.

W5 also airs Sundays on CP24 at 1 p.m. ET, and at 7 p.m. ET on CTV Two, and then on demand on the CTV News Video Player at CTVNews.ca (visit CTV.ca for local listings).

W5’s annual investigation of the automotive marketplace discovers commonly employed deceptions: from ads listing vehicles that are not available for sale when the mystery shoppers come calling, to extra fees not listed in ads, to under-reporting of collision damage. The APA’s secret shopping team includes a mechanic working undercover who takes viewers on a test drive of used car sellers and finds the ride is not a smooth one.

W5 also takes a look at the new high risks in the used automotive marketplace: online, at services like Kijiji. The APA shoppers track one car, a 2010 Corolla with only 3,400 kilometres on the odometer, selling for $16,000. The seller claims the car is in good shape except for a small bumper impact. A closer look by the APA’s undercover mechanic reveals body filler in the rear quarter panels, indicating that the car had been in a serious accident. Investigation of the car’s history by W5 discovers that the Corolla had been in an accident so serious it had been declared a $21,000 dollar insurance write-off. The wreck was later purchased from a salvage auction, repaired, and then offered for sale without being certified as road-worthy. W5 confronts the seller, who boldly denies any wrongdoing.

In the second story in this week’s program, W5 looks at Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the crippling mental illness that controls the lives of an estimated one million Canadians. In OCD sufferers, normal worries go haywire, and they repeat ritual behaviours over and over in an effort to restore feeling of calm. CTV’s Medical Correspondent Avis Favaro meets “Paul,” a fourteen-year-old living with severe OCD. His illness is so consuming that he cannot stand having anything to his right side, fearing it will bring him pain. His parents sought treatment more than a decade ago to correct their son’s unusual behaviour. Visits to many psychiatrists and psychologists proved fruitless, and prescribed drugs damaged Paul’s liver and heart. But none of the treatments helped. W5 joins Paul on the scariest journey of his young life, to a clinic at Montreal’s McGill University, where he is about to embark on cognitive behaviour therapy to cure his OCD.

With an ongoing commitment to covering tough, relevant stories with fair and responsible reporting, W5 is in its 46th season of investigative journalism. Hosted by Lloyd Robertson, the award-winning series is the most-watched documentary program in Canada. Anton Koschany is Executive Producer of W5. Brett Mitchell is Senior Producer. Wendy Freeman is President of CTV News.

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