TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Sears, Roebuck and Co. and the Florida Attorney General's Office have reached an agreement to end a product misrepresentation investigation. Without admitting wrongdoing, Sears will pay $985,000 to cover costs of a probe into allegations that it sold used or returned auto batteries as new between 1993 and 1997. Allegedly, the batteries had been used to test auto electrical systems or had been returned by customers.
Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth also claimed Sears sold ``substandard and defective'' batteries between 1994 and 1998.
Besides the payment, Sears will extend the replacement warranty for five additional months on DieHard and Plus Start brand batteries made by Exide Corp. and sold before April 30.
The retailer also agreed to clearly mark any battery used in testing and not sell it as new. Batteries returned by consumers will be returned to the manufacturer or used as ``loaner stock'' and not sold as new.