VLS launches new guidance for lubricants marketing claims

Verification of Lubricant Specifications (VLS) has recently introduced tighter new rules for assessing marketing claims on lubricants packaging. The move comes in response to a number of recent cases, many of which have involved lubricants products making misleading or incorrect claims.

The new guidance was launched to the automotive press at an event in London, attended by many of the leading journalists in the industry. VLS board members facilitated a round-table discussion to highlight the work of VLS since it was formed in 2013 and talk about the introduction of the new rules.

Andrew Goddard, Chairman of VLS said: “In 2015, VLS introduced a set of guidance for lubricants marketing claims to bring clarity to the industry.

In this guidance, if a performance claim was being made which fell short of a formal OEM approval then VLS would ask for a letter of assurance from the technology provider that the claims being made were supported by the Additive Company. However, recent cases have highlighted that these letters do not always provide the level of detail required to demonstrate that the formulation has been adequately tested.

VLS has now revised these procedures so that in cases where marketing claims are being queried, the manufacturers or marketers involved must submit the Candidate Data Package to demonstrate the performance of the formulation being used. This document is considered to be the best way of assessing the performance of the product and protecting the end user.”

VLS Case Outcome

VLS 010155 – SAR Lubricants Synmax Spectrum 5w30

On 23rd April 2018 this case was reported to VLS.

The case concerned the number of OEM specifications for which the product was claimed as suitable for use.

VLS worked with the Named Party to reduce the number of claims made to those which were directly supported by their technology provider.

On the 24th March 2019 VLS undertook a six month review of the case in line with its stated procedure. VLS is content that the revised Technical Data Sheet for the product dated 3rd August 2018, and the product label provided by the Named Party, accurately reflect the claims made on the product which are fully supported by the technology provider. Consequently VLS believes that the product remains in compliance at the six month review stage.

VLS now considers the case resolved and the complaint fully met.

David Wright, Company Secretary - VLS (UK) Ltd says “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.

In the Verification of Lubricant Specifications (UK) Ltd, we have set our course for stronger industry self-regulation by working positively towards more open and transparent competition that benefits all lubricant organisations. By working with the sector to resolve non compliant products in an independent and impartial manner, we can support companies to compete on a more equitable basis in a highly competitive marketplace.”




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