Seven Missouri auto dealers face action over violations‏

Nick Rees Nov. 23, 2009, 4:44pm

Chris Koster (D)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Action has been taken against seven Missouri used car dealerships by Attorney General Chris Koster over violations of laws governing the sale of used vehicles, including violations that could compromise the safety of consumers purchasing the vehicles.

An investigation by Koster into used car dealerships around the state uncovered dealerships selling vehicles without required safety inspections, issuing temporary tags on vehicles sold with junk or salvage affidavits, and requiring customers to sign affidavits stating the cars were not for immediate transportation, often without the customers' knowledge that the affidavit was part of the purchase documents.

"The Attorney General's Office has evaluated a number of dealerships throughout Missouri for their compliance with the laws," Koster said. "We found in several dealerships that the law was being violated and unsuspecting consumers were being taken advantage of. Used car dealers in Missouri have an obligation to be honest with their customers and abide by the law, and this office will aggressively pursue those who fail to do so."

Following the investigation, consent judgments were obtained against seven used car dealerships.

Not Nu Auto Sales of Kansas City will pay $6,000 in restitution and civil penalties over violations uncovered. Rich Royce Autos of St. Louis, found to be selling cars without current emissions tests, which are required for used cars sold in St. Louis, and not providing written notification to consumers of their rights involving repair of the emissions systems, will pay restitution and civil penalties of $14,000.

Restitution in the amount of $7,500 will be paid by Supercars, Inc., of Springfield and in the amount of $2,000 by Ace Motors of St. Joseph for violations uncovered.

Additionally, Hollywood Motors of St. Louis has signed an assurance of voluntary compliance that it will immediately begin notifying consumers in writing of the St. Louis emissions testing policy.

Suits were also filed by Koster against EZZ Motors and St. Louis Car Credit, both of St. Louis, for the same violations as those that already settled and for failing to provide valid titles.

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