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Class Sues Costco Over HVAC Systems

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Costco deceives customers by advertising its air-conditioning and heating systems as energy-efficient enough to qualify for a rebate, a member claims in a federal class action.

Lead plaintiff Stephen Simoni claims Costco Wholesale made millions of dollars by pulling the wool over thousands of customers' eyes.

Costco's "knowingly false statements are a key component of the company's marketing strategy and contribute substantially to company's gross revenues and net income at the expense of members who suffer the damages of company's knowingly false statements," the 16-page complaint states.

Simoni claims the company's HVAC units are too big and inefficient to earn a rebate.

He claims Costco sold him a 5-ton HVAC system, though a 4-ton system was needed to qualify for a rebate with his utility company.

When he complained, Simoni says, Costco blamed the humidity levels he had set on the system. He claims that Costco simply lied, and refused to remedy the problem.

Simoni seeks restitution, an injunction and damages violations of consumer law, false advertising, unfair competition, unjust enrichment and fraud.

Simoni, an attorney in Rancho Mirage, filed the case for himself and the proposed class.

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