Dealerships selling cars without titles slapped with lawsuits

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed lawsuits Monday against several Missouri dealerships for selling vehicles to more than 100 Missouri consumers, but failing to hand over the title.

Summit West Auto Group of Lee’s Summit is one of the six Missouri dealerships sued by Koster for failing to provide titles for sold vehicles. They are located in Springfield, St. Louis, Lee’s Summit and Ozark.

In a statement released Monday, the AG warned, “Missouri consumers purchasing new or used vehicles to make sure they receive a valid title before taking possession of their purchased vehicle.”

When reached by phone Monday afternoon, Summit West Auto Group owner Nader Aldewick told Call For Action his business closed in early 2013. 

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Aldewick said regarding his business. “We could not meet our obligations.”

The suit against Summit West states at least "six consumers have paid or financed approximately $60,589.00 for automobiles they are unable to drive."

In recent months, Call For Action reported on the problem of consumers purchasing used vehicles but not receiving title to them.

In the statement, Koster said, “Under Missouri law, consumers purchasing vehicles do not legally own those vehicles until they have the titles signed over to them, in their possession… Missourians should not complete a vehicle purchase unless they will have the title when they drive that vehicle off the lot.”

As part of the relief, the lawsuit asks for a permanent injunction against the dealership and owners from selling vehicles in Missouri.

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