Quality assurance organization Verification of Lubricant Specifications announced this week that it upheld a complaint of false 2018 performance claims for Gulf Formula CX 5W-30 engine oil – claims that the lubricant marketer had removed by the time it was contacted by VLS. A VLS official said the case illustrated the complexity of today’s engine oil standards and the importance of suppliers keeping claims up to date.
Gulf Oil International is part of Hinduja Group, which acquired the brand in 1984 and operates it outside of the United States, Spain and Portugal.
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Case VLS010163 was opened in October last year when VLS received a complaint that “improbable marketing claims” were being made for the oil in question. A press release issued by the organization indicated that the oil could not meet the combination of original equipment manufacturer specifications PSA B71 2290 and BMW LL-04.
Formula CX 5W-30’s technical data sheet available at the time of the complaint and dated February 2018 did not specify which iteration of PSA B71 2290. VLS was concerned that end user’s engines would be at risk of misapplication.
Gulf Oil International informed VLS’ technical panel, which investigates complaints, that the product’s formulation had been changed, as had the packaging labels, between December 2018 and January 2019 and that the data sheet had been updated since the 2018 version and no longer made the PSA claim.
Gulf Oil International informed VLS that no more formulation changes had been made but that it had amended the data sheet and product labels to reflect modifications to OEM specifications and product approvals. The most recent TDS omits claims made against a number of Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen and PSA specifications, including MB 229.51, MB 229.52, BMW LL-04 and VW 505 00, VW 505 01, as well as PSA B71 2290.
“Lubricants are increasingly complex products, catering to specific engine needs. It is vital that any product labeling 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,” VLS Company Secretary David Wright said in the VLS press statement.