— A Dollar General motor oil lawsuit alleges the discount stores spent years selling motor oils that are "obsolete" because the DG Auto SAE 10W-30, SAE 10W-40 and DG SAE-30 oils can't be used in vehicles built after 1988. In addition, some of the motor oils can't be used in vehicles built after 1930.
The Dollar General lawsuit was filed by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas for violations of the Unfair Practices Act, False Advertising Act and for Public Nuisance violations. The lawsuit claims Dollar General sold "obsolete" motor oils in New Mexico stores from 2010 to February 2017.
The lawsuit says that beginning in 2010, Dollar General’s DG Auto line of motor oil consisted of three types of motor oil: DG SAE 10W-30, DG SAE 10W-40 and DG SAE-30. DG SAE 30 and DG SAE 10W-40 were first sold in 2010, and DG SAE 10W-30 was first introduced in 2015.
New Mexico says these "obsolete" motor oil products fail to protect modern-day vehicles, in addition to causing damage to vehicles.
Prior to 2010, Dollar General sold the same motor oil under a private label called “Uni-lab.”
The complaint says Dollar General put property and safety at risk and took money from families for products that can cause engine damage.
New Mexico says Dollar General’s DG SAE 10W-30 and DG SAE 10W-40 motor oils are manufactured to the API Service Category “SF” specification, which is not suitable for vehicles built after 1988.
The DG SAE-30 motor oil is manufactured to the API Service Category “SA” specification, which is not suitable for vehicles built after 1930.
According to the lawsuit, Dollar General misled consumers by placing its motor oil products adjacent to the expensive brand-name oil as if the DG oil is just as good as name brand, but cheaper.
Dollar General is also accused of failing to adequately warn consumers that the oil shouldn't be used for vehicles built after 1988, and in some cases 1930. Additionally, DG allegedly deceived customers by making misleading statements about the use of the oil.
Dollar General has heard similar allegations before, but the company says the print on the oil bottles clearly indicate in what vehicles and engines the oil should be used.
New Mexico prosecutors say the "obsolete" oils cause problems in newer vehicles by deactivating emissions control equipment used to reduce emissions, increasing carbon monoxide emissions, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and other harmful pollutants.
The attorney general wants Dollar General to develop and fund a state-approved program that will notify Dollar General customers in New Mexico about the damage the oil can cause to newer vehicles, then inspect the engine of any customer who used the oils. Dollar General would also be obligated to repair or replace any damaged components due to the motor oils.
The Dollar General motor oil lawsuit was filed in the County of Santa Fe First Judicial District Court, State of New Mexico - Hector H. Balderas, Attorney General, v. Dolencorp, LLC, dba Dollar General, Corp.