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September 3, 2019

Volume 3 Issue 2

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VLS Files Complaint Over Toyota Oil

A watchdog for Europe’s engine oil market has accused a British supplier of Toyota genuine oils of making false performance claims.

Verification of Lubricant Specifications issued a statement in July complaining that the performance claims of a Toyota 5W-30 synthetic oil supplied by Impetus Automotive Ltd., doing business as Toyota First, are technically infeasible on their face. VLS, a subsidiary of the United Kingdom Lubricants Association that monitors the European Union market on behalf of Atiel, the technical association of the European lubricants industry, also said that Impetus Automotive refused to cooperate with VLS’s efforts to have the claims corrected.

VLS said it will carry its complaint to the U.K.’s Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

Impetus Automotive could not be reached for comment.

According to VLS, the oil in question was labeled as complying with the American Petroleum Institute’s API SN sequence for light-duty passenger car engine oils and its API CF sequence for heavy-duty diesel engine oils. VLS did not state specifically what it contended to be inaccurate about the claims for the product, but it added that, “The technical information also contained errors in the promotional material and claims made against obsolete industry standards.”

API has declared the CF specification obsolete and advises that oils meeting the standard are unsuitable for diesel-powered engines built after 2009. SN is API’s newest standard for light-duty engine oils, although a new spec, API SP, is due to be introduced to market next May. VLS monitors the engine oil market in the EU by collecting samples of products offered for sale and analyzing them for compliance with performance claims.

Toyota branded motor oil bottle

Brochure courtesy of VLS

A promotional brochure for an engine oil, marketed by Impetus Automotive, which is the subject of a complaint by Verification of Lubricant Specifications..

The organization said it began its investigation of Impetus Automotive after receiving a complaint in February 2018. It claimed to have worked with Impetus Automotive to resolve the conflicting claims, to remove the reference to CF and to present the product’s technical information in a compliant manner. But Impetus Automotive refused to provide evidence of how its performance claims were demonstrated, as required by Atiel’s code of practice.