VLS Resolves Mannol Complaint

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VLS Resolves Mannol Complaint
A service technician changing the oil in an automobile. © FUN FUN PHOTO

United Kingdom-based Verification of Lubricant Specifications said it has resolved a complaint against German automotive parts supplier SCT-Vertriebs after working with the company to reduce performance claims for one of its engine oils.

The case involves SCT’s Mannol Longlife 5W-30 engine oil. VLS, which is a subsidiary of the United Kingdom Lubricants Association, received a complaint 12 months ago from an unidentified party contending that there was no lubricant additive package on the market capable of meeting all of specifications listed on the Mannol product. In other words, some were mutually exclusive.

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VLS said that the oil had indeed been certified as meeting VW’s VW 504 and VW 507 specifications, two of the performance standards claimed on the product label. Other claims referenced other standards, including VW 505 01, without actually stating that the oil met them.

In January VLS filed a complaint with the U.K.’s National Trading Standards office, a consumer watchdog, alleging that the company had stopped responding to its requests for documentation of the product’s performance. In a bulletin published this month, however, VLS said SCT did provide documentation that a reblend of the oil in question again met VW 504 and VW 507.

The bulletin added that SCT cooperated with VLS to “rationalize the number of claims made to reflect the official approval obtained, the claims supported by the candidate data pack along with those that could reasonably be achieved through deployment of the technology.” The bulletin did specify whether SCT removed any specifications from its performance claims or modified the wording for any of those claims.

The organization said it followed up on the case after six months and found that SCT’s claims for the product remained valid, at which point VLS declared the case closed.

“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 organizations,” VLS Company Secretary David Wright said in the bulletin. “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.”

SCT did not respond to requests for comment.