Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced the settlement of a civil enforcement action against Sacramento-based Inter-State Oil Co. for selling misbranded lubricants. An investigation from late 2018 through 2019 by the California Department of Food and Agriculture Division of Measurement Standards revealed that on multiple occasions Inter-State Oil Co. sold automatic transmission fluid that was mislabeled and failed to meet minimum performance specifications set forth by the Department.
The matter was referred to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit. Sacramento County, along with the Consumer Protection Unit from the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office, initiated a civil enforcement action against Inter-State Oil Co. for unlawful business practices in violation of provisions of the Business and Professions Code that regulate sales of lubricants.
The labels utilized by Inter-State Oil Co. were supplied to them by their product provider. Inter-State Oil Co. cooperated with the District Attorneys’ further investigation into the case, and the parties reached a settlement which was approved by the Sacramento Superior Court. The settlement resulted in the payment of $175,000 in civil penalties and costs of investigation and enforcement. The California Department of Food and Agriculture will receive $46,350. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office will each receive $64,325.
Inter-State Oil Co. is also enjoined from violating the Business and Professions Code regulatory provisions relating to lubricants and will be required to periodically test its products to ensure that they comply with state performance specifications. Inter-State will also be required to give notice to its customers and recall and replace any noncompliant products.