SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement on Friday with Home Depot USA Inc. resolving allegations that it sold trailers that did not comply with the state's Motor Vehicles Law.
Home Depot allegedly sold overweight six-by-12 foot trailers without any breaks in 2011, in violation of state law. The law requires that trailers weighing more than 1,000 pounds be sold with an adequate braking system. The company allegedly misrepresented to the public that the trailers only weighed 995 pounds.
Under the terms of the settlement, Home Depot agreed to pay $100,000 in fees, penalties and costs.
"Home Depot, not only misrepresented the integrity of their trailers through false advertising, but also gambled with public safety," Schneiderman said. "Resolving this violation has averted some potentially serious accidents. Our message to consumers is clear, the laws of the state will be followed and corporations will be held accountable when the safety of New Yorkers is at risk."
Schneiderman's office began looking into Home Depot in June after the Syracuse Regional office received a complaint about trailers that were unsafe. While the certificate of origin provided to Home Depot by the manufacturer identified the Pace American Worksport six-by-12 foot enclosed cargo trailer as weighing 1,060 pounds, Home Depot allegedly falsely represented the weight of the trailer as 995 pounds in online and in-store advertising. Schneiderman's office alleged that the trailers actually weighed 1,080 pounds.
Due to Schneiderman's inquiries, Home Depot immediately stopped selling the Worksport trailer at all New York state locations. As part of the settlement, Home Depot mailed recall notices to consumers who bought the trailers, telling them that their product was more than 1,000 pounds and that overweight trailers need an adequate braking system under state law.
The company informed consumers that they had the option of returning the vehicle to Home Depot for a full refund of the purchase price or a full refund for the cost of a brake system installation upon receiving documentation. There were 20 of the trailers in stock at Home Depots in New York and seven that were sold. They were sold in Watertown, Olean, Corning, Ithaca, Cicero and Patchogue.