Discount chain Dollar General has been hit with a class-action suit accusing the retailer of practicing deceptive trade practices by selling a Private Brand motor oil that is allegedly unsuitable for use in the majority of cars currently on the road. Michael Deck filed a class action complaint that takes aim at three types of low-cost motor oil sold under its “DG” brand.Dollar General Motor Oil

Documents filed in federal court this week by Mr. Deck, who claims he purchased a bottle from a Dollar General store in Houston last month, include close-up images of Dollar General’s 10W-30 and 10W-40 motor oil which state on the back “not suitable for use in most gasoline powered automotive engines built after 1988” and “may not provide adequate protection against the build-up of engine sludge.”

A separate formula sold by the store, DG SAE 30, contains warnings that state the lube is admittedly “not suitable for use in most gasoline powered automotive engines built after 1930” and “use in modern engines may cause unsatisfactory engine performance or equipment harm.”

“Few, if any, Dollar General customers drive vehicles for which these products are safe, and the use of the term ‘older’ is a relative term that does not inform a reasonable consumer that these motor oils are not safe for cars manufactured within the past 27 years, or in the case of Dollar General’s DG SAE 30, the past 85 years,” wrote David Pace, an attorney for Mr. Peck.

“Dollar General’s entire line of low-cost motor oil is unsuitable for the modern-day vehicles driven by its customers and has no business being sold, except that Dollar General is successfully deceiving a sufficient number of customers to make this fraudulent practice worthwhile. It is unfair, unlawful, deceptive and fraudulent for Dollar General to distribute, market and sell an entire line of motor oil that is unfit for, and presents concrete dangers to, the automobiles driven by the vast majority of its customers,” he added.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.