Jefferson City, Mo. — A Springfield dealership there charged with odometer fraud was ordered to halt sales yesterday after Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster obtained a temporary restraining order.

In addition to the restraining order, the attorney general filed a lawsuit against Excel Auto Group LLC, accusing the dealership of advertising, marketing and selling vehicles that the business claimed had lower mileages than they actually did.

On at least two occasions, Excel Auto Group advertised a 2002 Toyota Sequoia for sale that it claimed had 119,600 miles on the odometer. The actual mileage on the vehicle was more than 200,000 miles.

The temporary restraining order entered by Judge Jason Brown against the company prohibits Excel from violating Missouri’s consumer protection laws; from advertising, transferring, hiding, or selling motor vehicles; from altering the mileage reading and/or odometer reading of a motor vehicle; and from disposing of any documents related to the company’s advertisement or sale of motor vehicles.

“Consumers should be able to trust that a car they purchase has the correct mileage,” Koster said. “I want to continue to assure consumers that this office will be aggressive in going after those who engage in this illegal behavior.”

Koster recognized the Missouri Department of Revenue for its assistance in the investigation. A court hearing on the Attorney General’s request for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for June 21 at 1:30 p.m.