LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a lawsuit on Monday claiming that Dollar General sold its customers “obsolete” motor oil. According to the lawsuit, the discount chain knowingly marketed, distributed and sold its own brand of oil by placing it on the shelves next to more expensive, name brand oil.
However, Dollar General’s brand, DG Auto, used formulas meant for cars built before 1930 or before 1988.
“My office continues to aggressively protect hard working New Mexico families and vulnerable consumers by holding big corporations like Dollar General accountable for preying on them and lying about the quality of the products that they sell,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas.
Dollar General has 87 stores in New Mexico, including in rural and suburban community, many of which are lower income.
Balderas added, “Putting New Mexicans’ valuable property and safety at risk is unacceptable, and companies that harm our communities and profit by taking money out of the pockets of our families will face consequences for their bad acts.”
Meanwhile, mechanics at Auto Lube Express in west El Paso told NewsChannel 9 that people looking to buy oil should look for the API Service Category “SN” on the bottle or ask an expert.
A spokesperson with Dollar General did not answer questions about the lawsuit or whether or not the same oil was sold in El Paso or anywhere else in Texas.
However, they did send this statement: For more than 75 years, Dollar General has been committed to providing our customers quality products at everyday low prices. We are confident that our DG-branded motor oil products meet not only our standards for quality and value, but also all applicable federal and state labeling requirements where they are sold. In addition, the labeling on these products contains obvious and unambiguous language regarding the products’ intended and appropriate use.
According to a press release, in addition to penalties, Balderas’ office is asking the court to order Dollar General to develop and fund a state-approved program that would notify New Mexico Dollar General customers of the damages caused by the use of obsolete motor oil; inspect the engine of any customer who used obsolete Dollar General motor oils in their car and repair or replace any damaged components or the entire automobile, if necessary.