VLS Bulletin – November 2020 – VLS 010154

VLS 010154 – Hyperdrive PCMO Fully Synthetic 5W/30 C3

On 7th December 2017 the case was reported to VLS

The complaint alleged that the product failed HTHS and NOACK evaporation limits for a product of this type. VLS procured and tested a sample of the product and found that the product returned an HTHS value of 2.99 mPA.s and a NOACK test result of 11.3%.

The Technical Review Panel determined that the HTHS value of 2.99 mPA.s rounded to 3.0 so was a fail and the complaint was upheld. The NOACK test result at 11.3% rounded to 11% so was also a fail with regards to the claim against MB 229.51, although it did meet the claim against ACEA C3.

Following this the Named Party reformulated the product which was tested by an independent testing house. The testing house results confirmed that the reformulated product was compliant regarding HTHS and NOACK properties against the stated performance claims.

VLS then requested a letter of assurance from the Named Party’s technology provider that the additive pack was suitable for use against the claims being made, and that the treat rate was appropriate for these claims. The letter was accepted by VLS who were satisfied that the actions agreed with the Named Party have brought the product back into compliance.

In November 2019 VLS undertook a six month review of the case and again arranged for a sample of the reformulated product to be procured and tested by an independent testing house.

In December 2019, the reformulated product was tested and the results showed that the product failed to meet the minimum specification for HTHS laid down by ACEA, returning a result of 3.29 mPa.s against the minimum specification of 3.5 mPa.s for a product of this type. We shared this result with the Named Party on 10th January and asked for their comments. They contacted their technology provider but could not identify the cause of the issue.

Due to the time the case has taken to conclude, and the continued non-compliance of the product the VLS Board decided to raise this issue with Trading Standards for enforcement as VLS believes it has gone as far as it can with the case. VLS believed that the product is not as described, fails to meet the stated technical specification regarding its HTHS value, and, in the public interest, the product can cause accelerated wear to gears and bearings in application which, if left unchecked  could lead to eventual failure in key components of the engine.

Worcestershire Trading Standards took up the case on behalf of VLS over the summer of 2020, and engaged with the Named Party, agreeing a number of steps to resolve the matter. Trading Standards reported back to VLS in October of the steps that had been identified, agreed and implemented.

VLS are satisfied that the issue has been resolved and the case can be 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.”

November 2020

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