Costco sells car batteries to members. The wholesaler supplies Interstate batteries for automobiles, boats, RVs, golf carts, and lawn mowers.
Costco offers a "great warranty" on these batteries. "A 36-month limited replacement guarantee supports all Costco car batteries," reads the company's website.
"If there is an imperfections in the workmanship or material, this limited guarantees provides that on return of the battery to any Costco Wholesale the warehouse, excluding the island of Puerto Rico, the battery will be replaced or the amount paid for it will be refunded, excluding fees and taxes," the retailer states in its warranty policy.
Skrandel is suing Costco on behalf of all customers who bought an Interstate Battery with the expectation of a free replacement if it died within 36 months.
"Costco's scheme is misleading to reasonable consumers, such as Skrandel, who expect that when going back their faulty Interstate Batteries under Costco's advertised Free Replacement Warranty,
they will get a replacement battery at no extra cost, or, at least, they will have the purchase price of their Interstate Battery refunded and then be billed for a substitute battery at the same price," the suit states.
If certified, the action would encompass all U.S. and Florida Interstate Battery customers between Sept. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2019.
The publication said that Costco stopped labeling batteries with free replacement warranties in late 2019 and replaced them with batteries that indicate "Limited Warranty Replacement."
Skrandel's attorneys said in the Feb. 9 class certification petition that Costco's Refund Manual requires cashiers to discard any excess money for a free replacement battery. The Florida consumer said this did not happen when he tried to use the warranty.
Costco recognized "that its records show Defendant purchased an Interstate Battery with a 36-month warranty period ant an error led to Plaintiff paying $2 for his replacement battery" in its July 2021 response to Skrandel's first lawsuit.
The shop refuted Skrandel's other claims and claimed buyers may return damaged Interstate Batteries "consistent with its warrant and return procedures" and obtain a replacement "at no additional cost," according to the newspaper.