Made in USA Refrigerants on Walmart.com

May 20th, 2021

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, which means scorching days and sweltering nights are just around the corner. That is, unless you have A/C.

If you are lucky enough to have an air conditioning unit, you may need to replace or refill the refrigerant, which absorbs the hot air inside and sends it outside so that the unit can begin to blow cold air – or so we’ve been told.

Ahead of the patriotic holiday, why not purchase a “Made in USA” refrigerant from a “US Seller,” such as this one on Walmart.com?

Well, because it’s not actually “Made in USA,” according to FTC law.

After receiving a tip from a reader, we found the proof in the image gallery, where a zoomed-in photo of the tank shows the qualified U.S.-origin claim “Made in USA From Imported Components.”

Under the FTC’s Made in USA standard, only products that are “all or virtually all” made in the U.S. can be marketed with an unqualified U.S.-origin claim like “Made in USA.” The fact that the qualifying language “From Imported Components” appears on the tank suggests the product contains an amount of foreign content that is not negligible. Thus, it shouldn’t be marketed as “Made in USA.”

TINA.org asked the manufacturer, iGas USA, Inc., what the imported components are but haven’t heard back.

We also found a different type of refrigerant with the same Tampa, Florida address on product packaging advertised throughout its Walmart.com listing as “Make in USA” (that’s not a typo), despite its cylinder and contents being manufactured and filled in China according to a photo of the tank in the image gallery.

All of which is to say, when it comes to made in the USA claims on Walmart’s website, there’s a lot of hot air.

This is nothing new. Since 2015, TINA.org has exposed deceptive made in the USA claims on Walmart.com. Following our latest investigation and complaint to the FTC earlier this year, Walmart quietly removed a link on its website that had led to nearly 2,000 “made in USA” listings.

Find more of our coverage of made in the USA claims here.

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