Michelin Tires Whacked by Arizona and Other States in Alleged Ad Scam

There's a lot of baloney riding on their tires.

Michelin North America is being forced to cough up $375,000 -- of which Arizona gets $22,500 -- because of ads that claimed its tires were fuel-efficient. The company was sued by 17 state attorney generals, including Terry Goddard.

Arizona's share of the pie, $22,500, will be used for consumer fraud prevention, says the AG's office. (Though we can't help but wonder what will really happen to the money after this morning's post about Goddard's use of state publications to promote himself).

Goddard's been pretty good about going after false advertising cases, though. He's slapped fines on many an auto dealership, for example.

The problem was a series of Michelin ads that contained phrases like, "Michelin makes the most fuel-efficient line of tires on the road, which saves you money over the life of your tires."
The investigation found that claim was, well, complete BS. Michelin tires can be expensive, for one thing, so you could lose money in the purchase that won't be made up by the savings in fuel efficiency. Investigators found no real efficiency to speak of, either.

On the plus side, though, Michelin tires do look neat.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.