Equilon Recalls Aeroshell in U.S.


In the midst of a 264,000-gallon recall of Aeroshell aviation engine oil, Equilon Lubricants LLC says contaminated fluid poses no risk to air traveler safety and only slight potential for premature equipment wear.

The company said it has already recovered or accounted for more than 70 percent of the oils covered by its Nov. 26 recall in the United States, most of which never left its warehouses. Officials said that most of the unaccounted-for volume is probably not contaminated and that even that which is would probably not affect aircraft in which it has been used.

Weve always had a reputation for being safety conscious and we want to take every precaution with this recall, spokeswoman Gail Schutz said Friday.

Equilon, which includes Shell Oil Co.s U.S. lubricants business, calls Aeroshell the worlds best-selling aviation piston engine oil. The company launched the recall after discovering that iron debris from a blend tank at its Wood River, Ill., plant may have passed to packaging equipment during a period beginning Sept. 7. The recall covered quarts and gallons of Aeroshell 80, 100, W 65, W 80, W 100, W 100 Plus and W 5W-50, although the company stated that some of the units were not contaminated.

Units that were contaminated have fluid with iron particles of up to 50 microns. Even in cases where contaminated fluid was put into plane engines, the company said it most likely would not cause problems.

First, the vast majority of the particles remain in the bottom of the bottle, Senior Research Engineer Paul Royko said. The small number of particles that actually go into the engine normally remain in the bottom of the pan. If they are picked up by the oil pump, the filter should stop them. If after all of this, some of the particles get into the engine, the worst-case scenario would be an elevation in bearing wear. We do not expect any catastrophic failures.

Equilon urged customers to exchange unused recalled product and to replace recalled fluid already put into engines. The company has made technical experts available to advise customers seeking to determine if they added recalled product.

The company urged customers who replace recalled fluid to examine their oil filters. If the filter shows nothing unusual, it said, the customer may return to normal drain intervals. Customers observing iron particles or anything else unusual were urged to seek advice by calling (800) 231-6950.

A list of products and case and bottle numbers covered by the recall is posted at http://www.aeroshell.com/recall.php

Equilon said customers in a few parts of the country might encounter shortages of Aeroshell until production catches up with the recall.

Related Topics

Market Topics