Saturday, November 16Serving the aftermarket

Misleading packaging still causing issues for lubricants

Overclaiming what a product can do causes consumer confusion and creates unfairness in a marketplace. With this in mind, VLS, the Verification of Lubricant Specifications, has announced the outcome of cases VLS010152 and VLS010156: complaints against two different Vetech 5W30 Multi-Fleet oils, marketed by GSF Car Parts Ltd.

The first case related to the Vetech SSL PRO Universal Performance Multi-Fleet ILSAC Standard Service Oil and alleged inconsistencies in the Technical Data Sheet, including that the product claimed to be produced from Group 2 and Group 3 base stocks, that the formulation was suitable for applications requiring VW 504/507, VW 502/505, MB 229.51, WSS-M2C913-A,B,C and Dexos 2 and that there were no additive formulations capable of achieving all of these specifications.

VLS’ Technical Review Panel upheld the complaint and asked GSF Car Parts Ltd to make a number of changes to the data sheet including withdrawing incorrect claims and providing further clarity on claims in other areas. GSF Car Parts Ltd also agreed to sign a Lubricant Marketer’s Letter of Conformance with the European Technical Association ATIEL to continue make claims against the ACEA sequences.

Case 156 related to the Vetech ESL PRO High Performance Multi-Fleet Extended Service Oil and a complaint about similar issues of inconsistency in the Technical Data Sheet, and that no formulation was capable of being suitable for all the applications and performances being claimed. 

VLS reviewed and again upheld the complaint that the Technical Data Sheet (TDS) for the product recommends its use against a number of specifications which included some recommendations that were mutually exclusive. VLS worked with GSF Car Parts to gain evidence from their additive provider concerning the claims supported by the technology, and ensure it was labelled accordingly. GSF Car Parts Ltd also agreed to sign a Lubricant Marketer’s Letter of Conformance with the European Technical Association ATIEL to continue make claims against the ACEA sequences.

David Wright, Company Secretary of VLS and Director General of UKLA said: “Both these cases presented with similar concerns about products making claims which sounded too good to be true. With space at motor factors, workshops and forecourts at a premium, the temptation is to create lubricant products which can claim to cover huge swathes of the car parc. However, modern, sophisticated engines require specifically tailored lubricants – not a ‘one size fits all’ policy. Any claims made by a lubricant product must be backed up by evidence to ensure that end users can make informed choices and be confident the oil they are buying is fit for purpose.”

Verification of Lubrication Specifications is an independent organisation providing a credible and trusted means to verify lubricant specifications. For more information on VLS please call 01442 875922 or visitwww.ukla-vls.org.uk.