State shuts down Springfield car dealer during investigation into rolling back odometers

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- A KY3 investigation leads to an investigation by Missouri's Attorney General's office.

A used car dealership in Springfield -- Excel Auto Group, LLC -- near Scenic and Walnut Lawn -- can no longer operate after being raided on Thursday by the Department of Revenue and the AG's office. At issue-- complaints about rolling back odometers.

Julie Schiffner started her search for a car online, and found what she thought was the perfect vehicle for the perfect price.

"We asked for a Carfax and he provided it and so we would never have thought to go spend the money then to double check and make sure the one he provided us was correct," Schiffner said.

So they bought it, a 2002 Toyota Sequoia.

They had it for two weeks when they got some bad news that turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

A close friend just happened to run an independent Carfax check for them.

"He checked it to see if the timing belt had ever been changed and that's when we realized that the mileage was completely wrong," she said.

One hundred thousand miles wrong.

The Schiffners' took the car back to Excel, and say they spoke with owner Ashley Bolton, who gave them their money back.

But, he gave no apology, and no explanation.

Julie turned to KY3 for help.

We ran the numbers for ourselves. Six VIN numbers from the cars listed on Excel's Web-site, according to Carfax, two of them had mileage numbers listed way below actual mileage -- one was more than 140-thousand miles off.

So we went to ask Ashley Bolton what's going on at his business near Scenic and Walnut Lawn.

He didn't answer our questions, and kicked us off his property. We had to leave, but investigators from the Attorney General's office and the Department of Revenue didn't.

Following a call from KY3 News, authorities were on scene, checking every vehicle's mileage.

It's a story with a happy outcome for Julie Schiffner and her family, and a lesson for everyone else.

"I will pay the 30 or 40 dollars to Carfax or Auto Check and run it myself and not trust," Schiffner said.

The filing from the AG is a temporary restraining order against the business. It prevents Bolton from selling any more cars during the investigation, and won't allow him to move any cars off his lot. We will have updates as they become available.

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