Suit Hits Sears Made In USA Claim

Craftsman tools use parts from many countries, suit charges

A class action lawsuit against Sears, Roebuck and Co alleges that Sears conducted false advertising and consumer fraud by advertising that its Craftsman tool line is "Made in the USA."

The suit alleges that promotions in ads, the website, on signs and labels claiming that Craftsman is "Made in the USA" led consumers to purchase the tools out of a sense of patriotism. Consumers were also led to believe that Craftsman is of high quality because it is "Made in the USA."

Pictures attached to the complaint show metal parts from Austria, Denmark, China, India and Mexico on Craftsman tools labeled as "Made in the USA."

"Sears has falsely touted Craftsman tools as 'Made in the USA' when the Federal Trade Commission has issued guidelines stating that such a claim is proper only where all or substantially all of the product is U.S.A. made. Sears Craftsman is misleading consumers by invoking that claim," said Barbara J. Hart, attorney for the tool buyers.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status and unspecified damages, was filed last week in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Tool buyers Kenneth Vigiletti, Sidney Hyatt and Elaine Hyatt are the plaintiffs named in the suit.

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