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AG Nessel Concludes Investigation of Intoxalock After Sufficient Changes to Misleading Mailer

LANSINGJust a little over a month after Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a cease-and-desist letter to Intoxalock regarding its misleading direct mail advertisements, the company has made sufficient changes to its mailer that the Department of Attorney General was able to conclude its investigation.

Intoxalock, an Iowa-based company that manufactures, sells, and installs breath alcohol ignition interlock devices (BAIIDs), had been using a mailer that not only resembled a government document, but also used mandatory language that permitted its recipients (recent OWI arrestees) to believe they were obligated to have the device installed.

In the cease-and-desist letter, issued March 15, 2023, Intoxalock was informed that the Department had received information from multiple sources that the company had contacted individuals who had pled guilty to operating while intoxicated charges but had not been sentenced. According to complaints from consumers, probation officers, and judges, the mailings caused some consumers to pay for and install BAIIDs they did not need.

“Tricking people into making a purchase by using an ad purporting to be from a court of law is the lowest form of deceit,” Nessel said. “After being discovered, our department took quick action. Intoxalock is now taking corrective actions to change its misleading marketing practices. This is exactly the type of outcome my Consumer Protection team and I seek to achieve in every case.”

In the revised mailer, the section directing the reader to call Intoxalock[t]o learn more about regaining your driver’s license” has been omitted, as it suggested the loss of the recipient’s license was a foregone conclusion.

Additionally, the revised mailer omits all affirmative instructions to contact Intoxalock to “enroll and schedule an Intoxalock ignition interlock installation,” instead directing that instruction only to those whowish to have an ignition interlock device installed. And the mailer has been reformatted to avoid resembling documents like those sometimes issued by courts.

The Department found the changes to the mailer to be sufficient to reduce the misunderstandings that had previously resulted in recipients believing that a purchase was mandatory.

Intoxalock has been certified by the Department of State to provide BAIIDs to Michigan drivers pursuant to a section of the Motor Vehicle Code, MCL 257.625k.

The Michigan Department of Attorney General addresses over 30,000 consumer complaints annually. For information about popular consumer scams, or if you believe you’ve been a victim, contact the Consumer Protection team Monday-Friday at 877-765-8388 or complete the online complaint form.


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