Michigan Banishes Bullseye


Michigan issued stop-use and stop-removal orders on oils from Bullseye Automotive Lubricants of Illinois this week, the states second such mandate in a month.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced in an Oct. 7 press release a ban on products bearing the Bullseye name, asserting that the lubricants made by Bullseye Automotive Lubricants Inc. can damage engines. This comes less than a month after the agencys Sept. 12 orders prohibiting the sale or use of motor oils made, packaged or distributed by City Petroleum, City Star, and/or Star Petroleum.

The most recent order follows a 12-month investigation during which the agency found that the motor oils sold by Bullseye Automotive Lubricants neither contain the amount of product its labels claim nor meet the viscosity its labels advertise. The product samples that the Michigan agency collected and tested over the past year did not meet the labeled Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) viscosity grade specifications they claim to meet, nor any other specifications for a motor oil, according to the statement.

Lube Report was not able to reach Bullseye for comment by deadline. The Michigan agency told Lube Report it had been in contact with the company since the start of the investigation, but declined further comment.

The Bullseye stop-use and stop-removal order also comes on the heels of a lawsuit that the American Petroleum Institute filed against the company for alleged counterfeiting, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, false advertising and unfair competition.

In April 2012, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America issued a consumer Dont Buy alert on the company and its Bullseye-branded motor oil after finding it failed to meet the SAE standards and obsolete API specs advertised on its labels. PQIA, based in Metuchen, N.J., tests and reports on the quality of lubricants in the U.S. market.Jennifer Holton, the Michigan departments spokesperson, told Lube Report the agency was not tipped off to the poor quality of Bullseye products by PQIA.

While it’s good to seethe state of Michigan is taking aggressive action to protect its citizens from some really badengine- and transmission-damaging products on the market, PQIAcontinues to ask, what are other states doing to protect their citizens from theslopsold in their states? said a report in the Oct. 7 PQIA newsletter. PQIA has found theBullseye,City Star, and other seriously deficient products sold in many other states, includingIllinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.