VLS Files Complaint Against Mannol

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VLS Files Complaint Against Mannol
A service technician pours engine oil into an engine's crankcase. © photoiron

A watchdog of the United Kingdom’s lubricant market has lodged a complaint against a German marketer, contending that it promoted one of its engine oils as meeting mutually exclusive performance claims and then refused to provide documentation of its performance.

Verification of Lubricant Specifications stated in a news release circulated Monday that Wedel, Germany-based SCT Vertriebs GmbH promoted its Mannol Longlife 504/507 5W-30 Engine Oil as meeting VW 504.00 and VW 507.00 while also making some performance claims involving one other Volkswagen spec and specs of other original equipment manufacturers.

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VLS said it began investigating after receiving a complaint from an unidentified source claiming that there is no lubricant additive package on the market capable of meeting all of the specs referenced in promotions for the Mannol product. VLS noted that the promotions stopped short of claiming that the oil meets the specs other than VW 504.00 and VW 507.00 – two of the more difficult VW specs.

According to VLS, SCT provided documentation certifying that the oil meets VW 504.00 and VW 507.00, but it then failed to respond to several requests for documentation of performance related to the other specs.

As a result, VLS, which is a subsidiary of the United Kingdom Lubricants Association, filed a complaint with the U.K.’s National Trading Standards office, a consumer watchdog.

SCT’s Mannol division declined to comment or respond to questions from Lube Report.

VLS did say that the Mannol distributor in the U.K. advised that all stock of Mannol Longlife 504/507 5W-30 was recalled so that the product could be relabeled.

VLS officials said they have encountered other cases of engine oil marketers claiming that products meet specs that are mutually exclusive.

“We continue to see complaints against 5W-30 engine oils that make up such a large part of the lubricants market for motor oils,” Chairman Andrew Goddard said in the press release. “To keep [stock-keeping unit] counts down, manufacturers are keen to make products that meet as many OEM specifications as possible. However, they must ensure that they have evidence available that the product really can meet all of the claims being made so that technicians and motorists can have confidence that products are genuinely fit for purpose.”