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Local

State officials investigating the now-shuttered Nissan of St. Charles dealership

Dealership accused of not paying off liens on trade-in vehicles

ST. CHARLES – The office of the Illinois Secretary of State Police continues to investigate hundreds of complaints against the now-closed Nissan of St. Charles.

On Feb. 1, the office shut down the dealership, which had been located at 2535 E. Main St., St. Charles. The dealership first opened in 1990.

"We have over 500 consumers that have not received the title and plates for their vehicle," said Elmer Garza, deputy director in the office of the Illinois Secretary of State Police. "There's more than just the failure to transfer side of it. They also didn't pay off the liens on the trade-ins. When they traded in a vehicle and purchased a new vehicle, that trade-in balance wasn't paid off."

His office stripped the dealership of its license to operate after receiving a complaint that the dealership had closed down.

"The person reported they had not received their title and plates and that the dealership was out of business," Garza said. "We take that seriously, especially a bigger dealer like this. By law, they have to notify us 15 days before they go out of business. And this particular dealer did not do that."

He doesn't know when the investigation will be finished.

"There's quite a bit of work to be done to put the investigation together," Garza said.

His office also has been discussing the case with the Illinois Attorney General's Office. He said his office rarely sees so many complaints against one dealership.

"In the 13 years that I've been here, this is probably one of the largest," Garza said.

In late April, Nissan North America sent a notice of termination to Nissan of St. Charles that revoked their authority to operate as an independently run Nissan dealership.

"We cannot offer any details on pending litigation and sincerely regret any inconveniences that this has caused for customers," Jeannie Whited, corporate communications for Nissan North America, said in a statement.

The Illinois Secretary of State Police has set up a hotline number for customers of Nissan of St. Charles who are having issues with not receiving their titles and plates. That number is 630- 693-0551, ext. 248.

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