Consumer

NAPA Auto Parts Owner to Pay $338K for Overcharging

The corporate owner and operator of many NAPA Auto Parts stores in California will pay $338,000 in a settlement of a lawsuit alleging customers were overcharged, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced today.

The case arose when inspectors in several counties, including those with the County’s Department of Weights and Measures, found a continuing pattern of instances where the prices charged at the cash register were not the lowest posted price displayed at the NAPA Auto Parts retailer in violation of California law, the district attorney’s office reported.

Dumanis said her Consumer Protection Unit worked with the Merced and Alameda District Attorneys’ Office and Weights & Measures officials throughout the state to reach the settlement between the consumers and Genuine Parts Company, a Georgia-based corporation that owns and operates many of the NAPA Auto Parts stores in the state.

The civil complaint, filed in San Diego Superior Court under California’s unfair competition laws, alleges that Genuine Parts Company overcharged consumers through electronic register scanners that rang up inaccurate prices.

“This judgment reflects the significance of the County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures in ensuring businesses deal fairly with consumers,”Dumanis said. “It’s important that businesses compete fairly in the marketplace and charge the prices they advertise.”

The settlement binds only Genuine Parts Company and does not apply to independently owned NAPA Auto Parts stores. 

Under the terms of the judgment, which was entered without an admission of liability, Genuine Parts Company is required to comply with California’s pricing accuracy laws and must implement an internal compliance program aimed at improving pricing procedures for the next three years. 

In the stipulated final judgment, Genuine Parts Company agreed to pay agency investigative costs of $65,000 and civil penalties totaling $273,000.