Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive


October 19, 1999

CORNYN SUES TEXAS AIR CONDITIONING BUSINESS

Action taken against Houston based Hispanic Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc.

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced the filing of a lawsuit against Hispanic Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. The lawsuit alleges that Hispanic Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by telling consumers that air conditioning units they purchased came with a ten year warranty, when in fact, they did not.

"Protecting consumers' rights is a top priority,"Cornyn said. "If you are victimizing consumers and abusing the system, we will shut you down," Cornyn added.

Between the spring of 1998 and the spring of 1999, Hispanic Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. (HACHI) advertised on Spanish language radio and television channels that the company would provide a ten year warranty on all parts and labor for any unit they installed. Approximately 3000 units sold between May 1997 and July 1998 are not protected with ten year warranties.

The Attorney General's lawsuit alleges that Hispanic Air Conditioning and Heating Inc, targeted Hispanic consumers in most of the larger cities in Texas. Additionally, HACHI installed many air conditioning units without having secured proper municipal ordinances. The lawsuit asks the court to assess civil penalties against the company in the amount of $2,000 per violation, up to a total of $10,000 per defendant, to grant the State its attorneys fees, to require the Defendants to purchase warranties for all affected consumers, and to prohibit the company from installing any more air conditioning units without obtaining the required permits and inspections.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation worked with the Attorney General's office on this investigation. The filing of the lawsuit against Hispanic Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., was handled by Assistant Attorney General Raul Noriega of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division in San Antonio.

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Contact: Ted Delisi, Heather Browne, or Andrea Horton at (512) 463-2050.
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