Amalie Awaits Settlement Approval in Lawsuit


Amalie Awaits Settlement Approval in Lawsuit

Amalie Oil Co. and the plaintiffs of a class action lawsuit against the company have asked a Florida circuit court to grant final approval on a settlement agreed upon by the two sides late last year, according to the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association. Amalie is an ILMA member.

The lawsuit alleges that Amalies Xcel Premium motor oil brand is obsolete by American Petroleum Institute standards because it is a non-detergent motor oil with an API-SA rating and is unsuitable for automobile engines manufactured after 1930. The plaintiffs say the label on the motor oil is misleading to consumers and that the oil is ineffective – even harmful – when used in any automobile made after 1930. Amalie denies the claims.

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The motor oils in question cover viscosities SAE 30, SAE 40, SAE 50, SAE 10W-30, SAE 10W-40, SAE 15W-40 and SAE 20W-50.

As part of the settlement, Amalie will change both the front and back labels on its Xcel Premium motor oil and pay certain administrative costs related to the settlement. Amalie will also pay $2 million in attorneys fees to the plaintiffs counsel.

Members of the class action lawsuit – those who purchased the motor oil brand between Dec. 1, 2014, and Oct. 11, 2019 – can receive up to a U.S. $20 refund from Amalie with proof of purchase or up to a $6 refund without proof of purchase.

As part of Amalie’s agreed changes to the motor oil’s labeling, it will remove suggestions on the front label of the product’s suitability for modern automobiles and include that the product is non-detergent and an API-SA motor oil in large font. On the back label it will enlarge the font saying the product is not suitable for automotive engines manufactured after 1930, restate that the product is non-detergent and an API-SA motor oil and remove information that the plaintiffs alleged was misleading.

The lawsuit was first filed in June 2018 and refiled in December 2018. The settlement between the two parties was agreed to in October of last year.

Amalie blends and packages over 3,000 products at a 20-acre site in Tampa, Florida, where it is also headquartered. It specializes in manufacturing and marketing motor oil and industrial lubricants, and ships throughout the United States and to more than 100 countries.

Amalie and its defense counsel did not respond to requests for comment by deadline.