News

  • VLS Receives 50th Product Complaint

    On 6th September 2017, VLS received its 50th product complaint concerning an automotive engine oil. Since its inception in October 2013, VLS has reviewed product complaints concerning automotive engine oils, gear oils, agricultural tractor oils and central hydraulic fluids. It has investigated these products for cold weather properties, compliance with formal OEM approvals and industry standards.

    Commenting on the 50th complaint, David Wright, Company Secretary said’ this latest case has become a milestone for VLS in continuing to ensure the confidence of our end users in the lubricants sold in a sector that places quality at its very heart.’

  • ATIEL Webinar – European Engine Lubricants Quality Management System (EELQMS)

    European Engine Lubricants Quality Management System (EELQMS)

    ATIEL Webinar, 3rd October 2017 at 12 noon CET (1300 hours BST)

    Hosted by Adri van de Ven, ATIEL Executive Committee member

    ATIEL, the Technical Association of the European Lubricants Industry, will be holding a webinar for UKLA and VLS members on changes to the European Engine Lubricants Quality Management System (EELQMS).

    Relaunched in  May, EELQMS is a quality system for automotive engine lubricants that are designed to meet the minimum performance requirements of leading European vehicle manufacturers. The webinar will outline recent changes to EELQMS including ATIEL’s Compliance Policy, and changes to the Lubricant Marketers’ Letters of Conformance due to come into effect in November 2017.

    Adri van de Ven, Technical Coordinator at Q8 Research & Technology, and ATIEL Executive Committee member will be hosting the webinar.

    For details of how to participate in this webinar please contact the UKLA Secretariat on +44(0)1442 875922 or email secretariat@ukla.org.uk.

  • VLS Bulletin – July 2017 – VLS010133

    VLS 010133 – Fully Synthetic Long Life 5W/30

    On 28th May 2015 this product was reported to VLS as there was concern with its non compliance with regard to performance claims.  The claim of meeting ACEA C2 (except for fuel economy benefits) was not compatible with the claim for PSA B71 2290 which does require fuel economy performance and was not compliant with ATIEL guidance regarding conditional claims.

    The Named Party, Millers Oils Ltd cooperated fully with VLS to revise the formulation of the product, withdrawing the ACEA C2 (except for fuel economy benefits) claim and, with the support of their technology provider, made a full ACEA 2012 C2 and C3 claim for the product. The Named Party amended the website description, product’s Technical Data Sheet and product label to reflect the changes made to the formulation.

    On 18th July 2017 VLS concluded its six month review of the case in line with its stated processes. All changes agreed by the Named Party with VLS had been maintained.

    The products were therefore in compliance at the six month review, and the case closed.

    David Wright, Company Secretary – VLS (UK) Ltd says “We want to ensure we have the highest standards in Europe for lubricant manufacture, blending and marketing, and we want a ‘level playing’ field for all participants, so that we protect the interests of the consumer and other end users.”

    “In the Verification of Lubricant Specifications (UK) Ltd, we have set our course for stronger industry self-regulation by working positively towards more open and transparent competition that benefits all lubricant organisations. By working with the sector to resolve non compliant products in an independent and impartial manner, we can support companies to compete on a more equitable basis in a highly competitive marketplace.”

    July 2017

  • VLS Bulletin – May 2017 – VLS010144

    VLS 010144 – GSF Car Parts Ltd. Vetech 5W/30 SSL PRO automotive engine oil

    On 8th March the product was reported to VLS.

    The complaint concerned the product’s performance claims made on the Named Party’s website which included both a low SAPS specification (ACEA C2 ) and a mid SAPS specification (ACEA A1/B1& A5/B5).

    According to ATIEL guidelines concerning the ACEA 2012 sequences, these specifications are mutually exclusive of each other and cannot be met by a single oil grade.

    The Named Party co-operated fully with the VLS investigation and amended the product’s Technical Data Sheet.

    On the 18th April 2017, VLS conducted a six month review of the above case.

    The review found that modified performance claims had been maintained in changing the Technical Data Sheet. Therefore the product was in continued compliance at the six month stage and the case concluded.

    David Wright, Company Secretary – VLS (UK) Ltd says “We want to ensure we have the highest standards in Europe for lubricant manufacture, blending and marketing, and we want a ‘level playing’ field for all participants, so that we protect the interests of the consumer and other end users.

    “In the Verification of Lubricant Specifications (UK) Ltd, we have set our course for stronger industry self-regulation by working positively towards more open and transparent competition that benefits all lubricant organisations. By working with the sector to resolve non compliant products in an independent and impartial manner, we can support companies to compete on a more equitable basis in a highly competitive marketplace.”

    May 2017

  • VLS CAT Article – March 2017

    In March 2017 an article entitled ‘Does it really do what it says on the bottle?’ written by Andrew Goddard, VLS Chairman was published in Cat Magazine.

    The article can be found here.

  • VLS CAT Article – October 2016

    In October 2016 an article entitled ‘Ensuring Confidence in Lubricant Products’ written by David Wright, UKLA Director General and VLS Secretary was published in Cat Magazine.

    The article can be found here.

  • ACEA 2016 Sequences Launched

    Andrew Goddard, Chairman of VLS, gives his view on the newly-launched ACEA 2016 automotive engine oil sequences.

    To read the article click here.

  • VLS Specifications and Marketing Claims Guidance

    VLS has published guidance on the use of marketing claims in connection with the description of lubricants and their specifications. This guidance can be found here.

  • VLS Brand Guidelines

    VLS are publishing brand guidelines with respect to the conferred rights for VLS members to use the VLS logo and brand in connection with their business.

    It is a condition of use of the VLS brand that members agree to abide by the guidelines.

    The brand guidelines can be found here.

  • ATIEL provides guidance on making combined ACEA Category performance claims

    ATIEL, the technical association of the European lubricants industry, has developed new guidance for engine lubricant marketers on making valid performance claims against more than one Category within the ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association) 2012 European Oil Sequences.

    For more information, visit http://atiel.org/industry-info/acea-sequences/acea-claims-2

  • VLS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    VLS are publishing a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help companies raise and respond to complaints about lubricant products.

    Please click here to view the FAQs.

    June 2015

  • VLS Risk Matrix

    VLS are publishing a risk matrix which demonstrates how the programme categorises different types of cases brought forward for its’ attention.

    In the matrix, the technical specification of a lubricant is compared with its’ physical characteristics to determine the level of risk to users of non-compliant products. Examples of risks are given within each cell of the matrix. A traffic light colour coding system is used to illustrate the level of risk involved in the use of non-compliant products.

    Click here to download the Risk Matrix

    June 2015

  • VLS Case Summary: October 2013 – April 2015

    VLS Case Summary Charts
    October 2013 to April 2015

    VLS are publishing two charts showing information relating to cases that have been resolved and closed, or are currently under investigation, since the launch of the programme in October 2013.

    The first graph illustrates cases by the type of product, the second pie chart illustrates cases by the type of issue.

    The aim of the publication is to provide guidance to lubricant manufacturers, blenders and marketers of the nature of cases received to date, and to support VLS’s aim of operating in an open and transparent manner.

    Click here to download the charts.

    May 2015

  • Case Handling Process Chart – May 2015

    May 2015

    VLS publish an updated case handling process

    A new case handling process chart has been published by VLS. This diagram reflects the way cases are currently managed through the process.

    To view the revised case handling process click here.

  • ATIEL guidance on ACEA Claims

    April 2015
    ATIEL has released information for engine lubricant marketers on the representation of ACEA performance claims for engine oils.
    http://www.atiel.org/news-and-info/news-articles/18-public-content/news-and-info-content/95-guidance-on-making-valid-acea-performance-claims

    This guidance is based upon ATIEL’s understanding and experience of the ACEA European Oil Sequences*, which set the minimum performance standards of engine oils required by European vehicle manufacturers. The information includes a chart of ACEA Claims expiry dates for different engine classes in all the issues of the Oil Sequences back to 2002. The chart can be found at: http://www.atiel.org/industry-info/acea-claims.

    The chart can help lubricant marketers to identify and make valid ACEA claims for their products. It lists which claims are current and which have been superseded. It also provides examples of claims descriptions in common use, to assist lubricant marketers in producing appropriate labelling of ACEA claims on product packaging and literature**.

    ATIEL has made this guidance publically available on its website for the use of all marketers of engine lubricants who make claims to meet the requirements of the ACEA Oil Sequences. ACEA requires that all such marketers follow the European Engine Lubricants Quality Management System (EELQMS) and that claims against the ACEA Oil Sequences are only be made by oil marketers who have signed the EELQMS Lubricant Marketers’ Letter of Conformance. This guidance will help to ensure that marketers make claims in accordance with ACEA requirements.
    More information on the Lubricant Marketers’ Letter of Conformance can be found at: http://www.atiel.org/code-of-practice/letters-of-conformance.

    * Only ACEA can give an authoritative interpretation.
    ** The lubricant marketer retains full responsibility for any performance claims.

  • Aftermarket Magazine April 2015

    Andrew Goddard, Chairman of the VLS Supervisory Board, explains the importance of industry regulation and VLS in an article in the April edition of Aftermarket magazine. To view the article on page 23 of the magazine, click here

  • Changes to the VLS Website

     

    Recently the VLS website has been updated. These changes have been made to improve the service offered to VLS members, as well as well as consumers and end users of lubricants. These changes will provide;

    • Clarity for the industry, consumers and end users of lubricants.

    • Consistency across all cases for reasons of fairness, and to demonstrate the impartiality of VLS.

    • Speed and simplicity in reducing the time it takes to categorise and upload new case details to the website.

    Outline details on cases that have been received and are being investigated are being displayed for the first time. The aim of this development is to demonstrate the extent of issues and the number of cases under consideration rather than simply publish details once a case has been resolved. As the VLS process is confidential, organisations or specific products cannot be named until a case has been thoroughly investigated. These changes however will show the type of issues under consideration at an earlier stage.

    More detail has also been provided on the summary pages of the Case Outcomes and Case Resolved sections of the website. Here we have broadly categorised cases as either;

    Product failed to meet claims made, or

    Product investigated and found to be compliant. Case Closed.

    Along with new case headlines, summary phrases have been introduced alongside each case to provide more detail. These phrases fall into four main categories;

    1. Corrective action
    a. “Follow up in progress with Named Party”, or
    b. “Named Party advises corrective actions have been taken”, or
    c. “Corrective actions NOT taken &/or NOT confirmed to VLS”

    2. Trading Standards:
    a. “Case passed by VLS to Trading Standards Office”

    3. Product Testing :
    b. “Follow up testing within 6 months”
    c. “Product re-tested after 6 months and failed again”, or
    d. “Product re-tested after 6 months and passed”

    4. Product Recall:
    a. “Product recall requested by VLS”

    On the VLS website you can still find out more specific case detail on the relevant summary page by clicking on the case number. Specific case details will continue to be displayed as cases are concluded.

    We would welcome your thoughts on the changes made to the website. If you have any comments then please get in touch using the details in the Contact Us pages.

  • VLS – one year on

     

    It is now almost one year since the launch of the VLS initiative onto the UK Lubricants industry.  It has to be said that we were not completely sure of what the immediate impact would be or in fact how the initial membership would take off?  One thing we were sure of was that our industry has long awaited the introduction of an independent and knowledgeable body that would take a responsible role in overseeing the activities of lubricants producers and ensure that not only the interests of consumers are protected but also help provide a fair and level playing field for competition.  Since then we have had very positive feedback not only from UK industry members but also from many and diverse sources both home and abroad.  This also coincides with a new “market survey” initiative from ATIEL, with results to be published imminently, all underlining the fact that both VLS and our timing is right.

     

    VLS currently has nineteen paid-up members who range across small, medium and large producers, including the additive industry.  At the present time, VLS are handling a number of reported cases, testing the VLS processes and methodology with positive results. On completion, the results of current cases will be published; leading to what we all hope will be an improved situation for producers and consumers alike.

    However, this is only part of the story because contacts throughout the industry, including additive and base oil suppliers, are commenting on positive signs of change in the industry with noticeable increases in demands for approved and higher quality products emanating from a much wider range of industry participants. Signs are out there that a change of attitude is happening with respect to product integrity which is all part of the big picture and a strong indicator of the impact VLS is having in the UK lubricant market.  More updates to follow.

     

    Andy Dixon, Q8

    Chair, VLS (UK) Ltd Supervisory Board

    22nd April 2014

     

     

  • VLS Launch

    UKLAThe UKLA are announcing the registration of a subsidiary company “Verification of Lubricant Specifications Ltd”, a not-for-profit organisation that is dedicated to the protection of the integrity of lubricating oil performance standards against false or misleading claims.

    Background

    Misrepresented products are being sold into the UK Market which do not conform to the specifications claimed for them by their marketers. Unrealised quality and performance claim promises place consumers and equipment at risk and distort the market. However, it is appreciated that in some cases the misrepresentation is due to a genuine lack of understanding and we as an organisation do strive to increase the level of specification education to consumers and marketers alike. Equally, it must be said that perpetrators of such actions are in the minority and the vast majority of product supplied into the market is completely fit for purpose.

    The Mission

    The VLS mission, simply put, is to protect consumers of lubricants from purchasing products that make incorrect specification and performance claims.  This will be achieved by providing an independentobjectivecredible and trusted means to challenge and verify lubricant specifications and performance claims.

    Objective

    The VLS objective is to establish a transparent UK Lubricants market with fair competition and accurate performance and OEM specification approval claims that enable consumers to make informed and conscious purchase choices.  There is no intention of curtailing the marketing of cheaper, cost-effective lubricants provided they are accurately described and labelled.

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