— A Costco Interstate battery warranty lawsuit alleges the free battery replacement program costs consumers the difference in the original purchase price of their Interstate batteries and the increased price of the replacement batteries Costco requires consumers to purchase.
The class action lawsuit includes consumers who purchased Interstate batteries at Costco and were not provided free replacement batteries when their Interstate batteries became defective.
On December 19, 2017, Florida plaintiff John Skrandel purchased an Interstate battery with a label that said Costco offered a “36-MONTH Free Replacement” warranty with the $72.99 purchase (in addition to other battery-related fees charged by Costco).
The plaintiff believed he would receive a free battery replacement if his Interstate battery went bad within 36 months of purchase.
The plaintiff says the battery failed in November 2020, so he returned the Interstate battery to Costco for a free replacement.
"Instead of being provided with a free replacement battery, however, the representative at Costco advised Plaintiff that Costco would refund Plaintiff the original purchase price of the defective Interstate Battery and charge him for the new replacement battery, at the higher purchase price of $78.99, which was six dollars more than he had paid for his Interstate Battery." — Costco Interstate battery warranty lawsuit
Costco allegedly had removed the reference to its “Free Replacement” warranty from the label of the Interstate battery and replaced it with the words, “LIMITED WARRANTY REPLACEMENT.”
In addition, Costco had added a footnote to the label of the battery which told consumers they could learn more about warranty information on the Costco website.
The plaintiff says he objected to purchasing a higher-priced replacement battery by showing the Costco representative the Free Replacement warranty on his failed battery.
Costco allegedly told the plaintiff the company was no longer providing free replacement batteries and he would have to purchase the higher-priced battery if he wanted Costco to replace his defective Interstate battery. The lawsuit says the plaintiff had no choice because he needed the battery for his vehicle.
"Plaintiff purchased his $72.99 Interstate Battery for a total price of $79.10, and the $78.99 replacement battery for a total price of $86.13. Although, for some unknown reason, the Costco representative refunded the Interstate Battery at a price of $76.99 (four more dollars than its purchase price), Plaintiff was still forced to pay out-of-pocket $3.75 to have his defective Interstate Battery replaced." — Costco Interstate battery warranty lawsuit
The Costco Interstate battery warranty lawsuit alleges other consumers have reported paying as much as half the original purchase price of their Interstate battery to obtain their battery replacement.
The class action alleges Costco deceives reasonable consumers who expect a free replacement battery under warranty, whether 36 or 42 months. The plaintiff says at the least, a customer should have the purchase price of their Interstate battery refunded, and then be charged for a replacement battery at that same purchase price.
According to the lawsuit, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has rules about using the word "free" and Costco is allegedly not following the rules concerning the free battery replacement warranty.
The plaintiff claims Costco has sold about 1 million Interstate car batteries each year, and from 2014-2019 each battery was sold with a label regarding "Free Replacement."
The Costco Interstate battery warranty lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida: Skrandel, v. Costco Wholesale Corporation.
The plaintiff is represented by Kopelowitz Ostrow Ferguson Weiselberg Gilbert, and Gordon & Partners, P.A.