VLS celebrates 10 years at Automechanika Birmingham

Stand S60

The Verification of Lubricant Specifications (VLS) is looking forward to exhibiting at Automechanika Birmingham this year. The independent membership body will mark a significant milestone as it celebrates ten years of upholding standards in the lubricants industry by providing a credible means to impartially verify lubricant specifications.

Back in 2013, VLS was formed amid concerns that some lubricant products were being sold with claims that did not seem believable. Closer inspection found that sub-standard formulations were occasionally passed off as the latest specifications or even failed to perform effectively. The vast majority of lubricants sold in the UK market at the time were fully compliant. However, out of this concern, reputable lubricant blenders and manufacturers came together to launch VLS. 

Since then, the organisation has investigated 86 different lubricant complaints from cold weather properties to compliance with industry standards and market regulations. The work is ongoing, with eight cases currently under review. Over the years, the types of cases that VLS has handled have changed, and it has adapted to reflect the market’s needs.

In 2019, VLS launched new marketing claims guidance in response to cases involving overclaiming of specifications. In 2020, VLS entered a primary authority relationship with Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards to support greater compliance for members and the industry by providing assured advice on lubricant marketing issues and the basis of claims in consumer law, as well as providing an intervention and escalation route for non-compliant products in the case of non-cooperative lubricant marketers.

When VLS was first formed in 2013, there was clearly a lack of understanding in the marketplace. The body is confident that ten years later, the message around compliance is being heard. Lubricant blenders, manufacturers and distributors alike know that they will be held to account by VLS to ensure that lubricants are correctly described and can deliver what they claim. But as the industry evolves, a recent influx of cases shows that there is still work to be done to ensure an open and fair marketplace in which end users can have confidence.

Find out more about the work of VLS and how you can raise a case or become a member by visiting them in Hall 19 Stand S60. To book your free ticket to Automechanika Birmingham 2023, click here

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