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Duracell Optimum Batteries “Longer Life” Claims New York Class Action

AA batteries are the most popular size in the US, used to power cordless telephones, shavers, power tools, and remote controls, among other things. Duracell US Operations, Inc. makes AA and AAA batteries. Its Optimum line markets these sizes of batteries as having “Extra Life” and “Extra Power,” but the complaint for this class action claims that these claims are false, because the batteries cannot supply both and may have a shorter life than standard batteries.

The class for this action is all those who live in New York who bought the Optimum batteries during the applicable statute of limitations.

The front of the package of the Duracell Optimum batteries contains the phrases, “Extra Life” and “Extra Power,” both with an asterisk after it. The complaint says, “The back of the [AA battery] packaging describes the Product as ‘Duracell’s highest energy disposable AA battery engineered to provide the Extra Life* or Extra Power* your devices need.’”

Furthermore, the complaint quotes “other marketing—print, digital, tv, radio, video, etc.” as promoting the Optimum line of batteries “with the tagline, ‘Both is better than not both,’ referring to the ‘Extra Life’ and ‘Extra Power.’”

According to the complaint, consumers most likely believe that the batteries provide both longer life and more power than other, similar batteries. However, at the side edge of the packaging’s front is a tiny disclaimer with the statement, “*Delivers extra life or extra power, vs. Coppertop AA [or AAA] in a wide range of devices.” The back of the packaging has the same small disclaimer.

The complaint says, “Contrary to the front claims, the disclaimer tells consumers the disappointing truth—the Product may have a longer life or provide extra power—but not both—only compared to [Duracell’s] Coppertop batteries.” Additionally, the complaint says, “these limited ‘benefits’ only occur in an unspecified (read: small) ‘range of devices.’”

The Optimum batteries have the same product design and color scheme as Duracell’s regular Coppertop batteries. Regular coppertops advertise a “Guaranteed 10 Years in Storage.” The word “optimum” means, approximately, “best,” giving consumers the impression that the Optimum batteries include all the advantages of the coppertops plus additional ones.

However, the complaint says, the Optimum batteries use a different chemistry than the coppertops, and they “have a shelf life significantly shorter than ten (10) years and less than the Coppertop.” The different chemical makeup leads the Optimum batteries to degrade faster than the coppertops and “results in leakage rates among the highest ever experienced in consumer AA batteries.”

The leakage in turn “resulted in one of the largest battery recalls from stores in modern times, since leaking batteries can pose health hazards.” In fact, the complaint says, “the chemical instability means that even if the Product provides greater energy to some devices, this decreases rapidly over time.” Consumers are not warned of this faster deterioration.

The complaint says flatly that Duracell’s “branding and packaging of the Product is designed to—and does—deceive, mislead, and defraud” consumers.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Duracell Optimum Batteries “Longer Life” Claims New York Complaint

December 19, 2020

AA batteries are the most popular size in the US, used to power cordless telephones, shavers, power tools, and remote controls, among other things. Duracell US Operations, Inc. makes AA and AAA batteries. Its Optimum line markets these sizes of batteries as having “Extra Life” and “Extra Power,” but the complaint for this class action claims that these claims are false, because the batteries cannot supply both and may have a shorter life than standard batteries.

Duracell Optimum Batteries “Longer Life” Claims New York Complaint

Case Event History

Duracell Optimum Batteries “Longer Life” Claims New York Complaint

December 19, 2020

AA batteries are the most popular size in the US, used to power cordless telephones, shavers, power tools, and remote controls, among other things. Duracell US Operations, Inc. makes AA and AAA batteries. Its Optimum line markets these sizes of batteries as having “Extra Life” and “Extra Power,” but the complaint for this class action claims that these claims are false, because the batteries cannot supply both and may have a shorter life than standard batteries.

Duracell Optimum Batteries “Longer Life” Claims New York Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Misrepresentation of Production or Capacity