Overview Of Proposed Class Action Settlement
This case was brought as a nationwide class action involving certain Interstate Batteries that had a pro-rata-warranty.
After a court-ordered mediation conducted before a very experienced retired judge, the parties reached a settlement. As described below, the settlement allows eligible class members to submit claims for check cards and product vouchers, and requires Interstate Batteries to reform its warranty practices going forward.
The Amended Settlement Agreement filed with the Court, and preliminarily approved by the Court, conditionally certified the following Settlement Class:
All original purchasers of an Interstate Batteries trademarked battery (meaning the Interstate Batteries, Nationwide, PowerVolt, and Quickstart brands) that was covered by a Previous Interstate Batteries’ Pro-Rata Warranty and that was purchased from an Interstate Batteries authorized dealer (but not from an All Battery Center Store), in the United States or the District of Columbia, at any time from April 19, 2000 through April 30, 2012, and who:
Excluded from the class definition are Interstate Battery System of America, Inc., and Interstate Battery System International, Inc.; affiliates, parents, or subsidiaries of Settling Defendants; entities in which Settling Defendants have a controlling interest; predecessors, successors, or assigns of Settling Defendants; any judges who preside over this Litigation before Final Judgment, their spouses, the members of their staffs, and anyone within the third degree of relationship from the judges or their spouses, as well as those persons’ spouses; and persons employed by Class Counsel.
- later presented that original battery, during the applicable pro-rata-warranty-coverage period, to an Interstate Batteries authorized warranty dealer for a pro-rata-warranty adjustment on the price of a Replacement Battery, and who then purchased that Replacement Battery from that dealer at an adjusted price on a date from May 19, 2006, through April 30, 2012 (“Replacement-Battery-Purchaser Class”); or
- still had, on or before April 30, 2012, an unexpired contractual right under a Previous Interstate Batteries’ Pro-Rata Warranty to purchase a Replacement Battery in a pro-rata-warranty-adjustment transaction if their original battery fails under the terms of the Previous Interstate Batteries’ Pro-Rata Warranty (“Unexpired-Warranty-Holder Class”).
If the proposed settlement is finally approved, it will provide two basic benefits to Settlement Class Members.
First, the Court will issue an injunction requiring Interstate Batteries to modify certain warranty practices. Interstate Batteries will (1) rewrite and begin using a new form of limited warranty on certain batteries; (2) make the terms, language, and format of the warranty more easily understood by consumers; (3) make sure all posted warranty language is uniform; (4) make sure the new warranty states clearly how any future pro-rata-warranty-adjustment price would be calculated and that the calculation will be based on Interstate Batteries’ then-current “Suggested Retail Price” for the replacement battery, and not based on Interstate Batteries’ “List Price”; (5) improve the method of delivering this warranty to consumers; and (6) include all statements and disclosures required by federal warranty law.
Second, Interstate Batteries will establish a two-tier claims program. In general, an eligible Settlement Class Member can submit a Tier-One claim (with no receipt) and receive a $5 product voucher – or– one or more Tier-Two claims (with receipts) for each separate replacement battery and receive his or her choice of either a $12 product voucher or a check card for $8.50, with a maximum limit of 10 Tier-Two claims. Replacement-Battery-Purchaser Class Members are immediately eligible to participate in the claims program. Unexpired-Warranty-Holder Class Members will become eligible to participate in the claims program if they buy a replacement battery before December 31, 2019.