VLS continues to investigate claims about misleading marketing claims on lubricants products. Most recently, case 168 has been closed after VLS worked with the party involved to revise the product claims from formal approvals to marketing claims ‘according to the specifications of …’.
Marketing claims are an important piece of information that mechanics and motorists alike use to identify if an engine oil is suitable for use in a vehicle or not. These end users must have confidence that products can genuinely deliver what they claim. With modern engines becoming more sophisticated than ever, using the right engine oil really does matter. Using the wrong lubricant can cause accelerated wear, eventually leading to engine failure if left unchecked.
VLS has already investigated several cases this year in which claims have been made about products making manufacturer approved claims for which no evidence could be found or making generalised claims for which no substantiation was provided. Most recently, VLS investigated case 168 involving a complaint against several MPM Lubricants which were claiming Mercedes-Benz approvals for which no reference could be found on the approved lubricants listing of the Mercedes-Benz website. The products included gearbox oils, automatic transmission fluids, power steering fluids and level control fluids.
VLS worked with MPM to revise the product claims from formal approvals to marketing claims ‘according to the specifications of …’ which were reflected in the products’ labels, website descriptions and the Technical Data Sheets. VLS recently undertook a six month review of the case and concluded that the product was in continued compliance. Consequently, the complaint has been met and the case resolved.
David Wright, Company Secretary at VLS said: “We want to ensure we have the highest standards in Europe for lubricant manufacture, blending and marketing, and we want a ‘level playing field’ for all participants so that we protect the interests of the consumer and other end users.
We have worked very closely with Trading Standards over the past eighteen months to provide assured advice on lubricant marketing issues and the basis of claims in consumer law. Products must be able to deliver what they claim. Blenders, manufacturers and distributors making marketing claims that they cannot substantiate will be held to account by VLS and Trading Standards. We must ensure that lubricant companies can compete on an equitable basis and that end users can then have continued confidence that products are fit for purpose.”