VLS Cites Hyperdrive Engine Oil

United Kingdom-based Verification of Lubricant Standards announced last week that it reported an engine oil marketed by HyperDrive Lubricants to the National Trading Standards Board for failing to meet its performance claims.

VLS, a subsidiary of the United Kingdom Lubricants Association, said that tests conducted last year showed a sample of HyperDrive Fully Synthetic 5W-30 C3 passenger car motor oil not meeting high-temperature high-shear or Noack volatility requirements of Mercedes-Benz 229.51, despite the fact that the product's package claimed that it met the automaker specification.

VLS said it contacted HyperDrive about the results and that the company reformulated the product, which then passed the tests in question. In April, however, VLS conducted a six-month review and tested another sample that failed to pass the high-temperature high-shear test of a European Automobile Manufacturers Association's ACEA oil sequence, which the product was also promoted as meeting. VLS said HyperDrive was unable to identify the cause of the problem and that it therefore reported the case to Trading Standards.

“Due to the continued noncompliance of the product, the VLS Board has decided to raise this issue with Trading Standards for enforcement,” VLS Chairman Andrew Goddard said in a press release. “The product is not as described and fails to meet the stated technical specification regarding its HTHS value. As a result, the product can cause accelerated wear to gears and bearings in application which could lead to eventual engine failure.”

HyperDrive officials did not respond Monday to a request for comment.

VLS said it began its investigation after receiving a complaint about the HyperDrive oil from an unidentified source. During the initial testing conducted last year, the product did pass ACEA requirements for high-temperature high-shear and Noack volatility, which are easier than the requirements of the Mercedes-Benz specification.

During the review testing, the product did meet the ACEA requirement for Noack volatility.

HyperDrive is based in Redditch, Worcestershire, and is owned by Certas Energy UK Ltd., which acquired it in 2018 from Kerax. Kerax launched the HyperDrive brand in 2016, but the history of the lubes business traces to the 1920s when it was founded by Duckams. It later passed through the hands of Burmah Castrol, BP and Hansen & Rosenthal.