Of the sixty-five cases investigated by VLS, the vast majority have involved automotive products and of these, engine oils makes up the largest share.

The automotive sector is one of the largest markets, typically accounting for anywhere between 30% and 70% of overall lubricant demand. Catering for millions of vehicles each year, the importance of matching the right lubricant with the right performance claims and technical specification, to the right application is critical for the sector. Each year our end users and consumers put their trust in the products the industry supplies, and it is right that this faith is repaid many times over in the products we supply.

The role of VLS is to engage and educate the end user. In fulfilling its role we need to reach out to our key contacts in the media and trade press, communicating on the key issues we see, the challenges the sector faces and how we can best meet the needs of our consumers as the champion of lubricant standards in the industry.

We must continue to invest in supporting, enforcing and promoting VLS in this way, alongside our press advertising campaign and exhibition at events such as automechanika.

Raising awareness of the work of VLS not only gives credibility to our organisation and provides value for money for members, but it also sends an important message to the trade that action is being taken to ensure a level playing field for all manufacturers and distributors of lubricants.

End users can have confidence in selecting products that really can deliver what they claim.


VLS closes investigation into 5W30 engine oil

VLS, the Verification of Lubricant Specifications, has announced the outcome of case VLS010163, a complaint against Gulf Formula CX 5W-30 Engine Oil.

In October 2019, VLS received a complaint that improbable marketing claims were being made by the product. The allegation stated that there was no technology currently available to meet the combination of the latest OEM specifications PSA B71 2290 and BMW LL-04 (including N20 and B48 performance). In addition, the claim on the Technical Data Sheet (TDS), dated February 2018, to meet PSA B71 2290 did not specify which iteration and therefore risked misapplication by the end user.

The independent VLS Technical Panel upheld the complaint and entered into discussion with Gulf. The company stated that there had been a subsequent formulation change and change in product pack labels in December 2018 / January 2019 and the TDS dated February 2018 had been superseded. Since then there had been no formulation changes but there had been

periodic changes to the Technical Data Sheets/product labels to align with the changes in OEM specifications and approvals of the product. As evidence Gulf provided updated copies of the latest TDS dated October 2019, and latest product labels reflecting the current claims made.

The latest version of the Technical Data Sheet removed the marketing claims against the following specifications for which manufacturer approvals had been obtained MB 229.51, MB 229.52, BMW LL-04 and VW 505 00 & 505 01. In addition, the marketing claim against PSA B71 2290 was withdrawn.

VLS is now satisfied that the product was in compliance and the case has been closed.

David Wright, Company Secretary of VLS said: “Lubricants are increasingly complex products, catering to specific engine needs. It is vital that any product labelling and Technical Data Sheets are up-to-date and accurate so that end users can be confident the oil they are using is fit for purpose.”


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