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New York Gets $1.2M Settlement Over Sales of Expired Motor Oil, Other Items

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Aug. 27, 2019—The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a $1.2 million settlement with dollar store chains for selling expired motor oil and other products.

The settlement is the result of a months-long investigation by the AG's office into the sales, which also included expired over-the-counter drugs.

“It’s a tough pill for New Yorkers to swallow that the over-the-counter drugs they were buying may have been expired,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James in a press release. “New York consumers have a right to expect that products on store shelves are safe, fresh and suitable for their advertised use."

Investigators from the New York State Office went undercover to investigate the stores throughout New York. At Dollar General, they found the store's own branded motor oils for sale that were either expired or not suitable for modern engines. From the AG's press release:

Additionally, investigators also found on shelves at a number of Dollar General stores a variety of Dollar General-branded motor oils that are obsolete, including DG SAE-30 — which is not suitable for most automobile engines built after 1930 — and DG SAE 10W-40 and DG SAE 10W-30 motor oils — which are not suitable for use in most engines built after 1988.

 

The Dollar-General branded motor oil bottles used the same or similar descriptors as other brands of motor oil that are suitable for modern engines and were placed next to those brands on store shelves. There were also no on-shelf signs near those products to warn consumers of their unsuitability for use in modern engines. 

The AG's office said that Dollar General stopped selling those oils during the investigation and agreed to pay $1.1 million in restitution and other penalties.

Dollar General and its parent company, Dolgencorp, were already the subjects of a class-action lawsuit over the sale of those motor oils. The cases against the discount store chain span 16 states. The bottles were labeled as "DG Auto" engine oil but weren't suitable for modern vehicles, according to the lawsuits.

 

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