Espar Inc. has pled guilty to criminal charges of price-fixing truck heaters. Consumers who purchased these products may be entitled to a refund or justice through a class action.
Espar Pleads Guilty in Price-Fixing Scheme
March 12, 2015 — The Justice Department has announced that Espar Inc. participated in a price-fixing scheme for commercial vehicle heaters.
Espar pled guilty to a one-count felony charge in federal court in New York. According to the charge, Espar conspired with others to set prices for parking heater kits between October 1, 2007 and December 31, 2012.
Espar and its co-conspirators are accused of discussing heater prices, setting a price floor, coordinating the timing and amount of price increases, carrying out the scheme, and monitoring each other to enforce the agreement.
They are charged with violating the Sherman Act, a federal anti-monopoly and antitrust statute that prohibits activities that restrict competition in the free market. The violation carries maximum penalties of a $100 million criminal fine.
List of Espar Heaters
If you purchased any of the following products, you may be entitled to compensation:
- Espar Truck Heater
- Espar Parking Heater
- Airtronic Air Heater
- Hydronic Coolant Heater
What Are Espar Heaters?
Espar Products, Inc. manufactures a line of truck heaters, coolant heaters, and parking heaters. These products (PDF) are used to pre-heat the engine or interior cab without idling. Because they operate independent of both the engine and the vehicle’s own temperature regulation system, they use a fraction of the electricity and fuel consumed while idling the engine.
What is the Airtronic Truck Heater?
The Airtronic Truck Heater operates like a small forced-air furnace. It heats and propels air into the vehicle compartment through dedicated venting. The heater cycles through four levels to maintain the desired temperature range.
What is the Hydronic Coolant Heater?
The Hydronic Coolant Heater pre-heats the engine. It uses combustion air from the environment and fuel from the tank, mixes them together, and ignites them in a combustion chamber. This process transfers heat energy to the vehicle’s own coolant system, which circulates and pre-heats the engine.
1st Class Action Filed in New York
Just days after Espar pleaded guilty to price-fixing heaters, they were hit with a class action (PDF) in federal court in New York. The plaintiff, Raccoon Valley Transport Inc., purchased truck heaters and accuses Espar of consumer fraud.
Espar Heater Class Action Lawsuit
The Clark Firm, LLP is nationally recognized as a class action law firm in Texas. Our attorneys are providing free case consultations to people who purchased heaters from Espar between October 1, 2007 and December 31, 2012.