The makers of the refrigerant-sensing device Avanti, Inc. have agreed to a $1 billion settlement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for their alleged use of fraudulent data to artificially inflate the value of refrigerant.
The settlement was reached Friday in Los Angeles federal court.
The case is Avanti Corp. v.
FDA, et al., U.A. District Court, Southern District of California, No. 15-cv-00928.
The Avanti company said it will continue to work to improve its refrigerant data collection and reporting processes, as well as make improvements to its fraud detection and response systems.
Avanti has agreed to pay $5.9 billion to settle the case.
The FDA said in a statement that Avanti’s settlement agreement will “help address the risks associated with its fraud-based marketing practices, including its alleged misuse of consumer data, to make financial claims, and to manipulate and manipulate the prices of refrigerants and other products.”
The settlement was announced at a time of heightened concern about refrigerant use.
A report in January from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that the company may have inflated the value and prices of its products by as much as 10 percent.
The FTC also said that Avantas use of data to make inflated claims may violate the False Claims Act.
The FTC also accused Avanti of using false information to convince consumers that refrigerant products were “safe” and that they were “efficient.”
In the settlement agreement, Avanti agreed to cease marketing its refrigerants “for a period of six months.”
The FTC said it would seek enforcement actions against Avanti.
The agency also said it was considering civil and criminal penalties against Avantans executives, including those responsible for the fraud and misrepresentation.
Avanta also agreed to stop advertising its refrigerated products on the market, and will pay a $10,000 fine.
The settlement comes amid growing concerns about the quality of refrigeration products.
The Food and Water Watch, an environmental group, reported in February that in recent years, “many refrigerators have become so unreliable that consumers are forced to purchase brand-name refrigerants from companies that have proven to be fraudsters, even when the product has proven to have no significant flaws.”
The group has also warned that refrigerants can become “frozen in time” and can cause serious health and environmental risks.