A class action complaint has been filed in Pennsylvania against BP Lubricants USA and CarSense*, alleging that the defendants sell a written warranty that violates the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act because the warranty contains an illegal tying provision.
For those unfamiliar with the MMWA, it is an act passed by Congress in 1975 that governs consumer product warranties. Among a number of requirements that warrantors must meet, the Act has a provision that prohibits “tie-in sales” that require a consumer to buy an item or service from a specified company to be eligible for, and maintain warranty coverage.
The class action complaint states that “The intent of the MMWA is to preclude, for example, an arrangement that conditions automobile warranty coverage on the use of branded motor oil, unless the motor oil is provided without charge under terms of the warranty or unless no other motor oil will function properly and provide equivalent performance.”
Further, the complaint states that “Under the MMWA, Defendants have created an illegal tying arrangement by requiring Plaintiffs to change motor oil in their vehicle every 4,000 miles or 4 months with only Castrol products. Plaintiffs are paying more for Castrol products than what they would pay for substantially similar or possibly superior motor oils.”
ClassAction.org posted a copy of the complaint online. CLICK HERE to Read Complaint
You Can Be Sure JobbersWorld will keep a close eye on this case as it could be a precedent setter with important implications for lubricant manufacturers, marketers, and other industry stakeholders.