San Luis Obispo County District Attorney, along with District Attorney’s offices in San Barbara and San Diego counties, have filed a Consumer Protection lawsuit against Carquest Auto Parts
Author: District Attorney
10/3/2023 1:17:59 PM
California consumers are entitled to believe that the price retail stores advertise is the price they will pay at the register. This lawsuit alleges that Carquest Auto Parts violated California’s Consumer Protection Laws by routinely overcharging consumers in a manner that was unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent.
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office announced today that it has filed a civil lawsuit against Carquest Auto Parts alleging violations of California’s Consumer Protection Laws related to unfair business practices and false advertising. The lawsuit is filed with the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court and is joined by the District Attorney’s Offices of Santa Barbara and San Diego Counties.
Carquest Auto Parts stores carry a wide variety of aftermarket auto part products for domestic and import vehicles. The lawsuit alleges that Carquest Auto Parts routinely charged consumers at the register an amount that was more than advertised on the store shelf. A copy of the civil Complaint can be found here.
To best assure the accuracy of advertised prices in retail stores, California county weights and measures divisions routinely conduct price accuracy inspections. Inspectors will visit retail stores and purchase a set of items based on standardized guidelines to ensure the store is charging consumers the lowest posted or advertised price—as the law requires.
The lawsuit alleges that inspections conducted from 2017 to 2021 revealed that Carquest Auto Parts overcharged an average of 12% of the items purchased during inspections. In July 2023, inspections were conducted on 43 company owned stores in 20 California counties, revealing that 91% of the stores inspected failed their inspection. Nearly one in four—or 23%— of the items purchased by inspectors were charged a higher price at the register than the advertised price. Many of the mispriced items in one store were also mispriced in other stores throughout California, indicating a state-wide systemic shortcoming in Carquest Auto Parts’ pricing procedures.
The civil law enforcement action seeks compliance by Carquest and its subsidiaries, affiliates, and parent companies with California Consumer Protection Laws, a court ordered injunction requiring compliance with these laws, and civil penalties.
Please contact Assistant District Attorney Eric J. Dobroth at 805.781.5819 with any questions.