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Verifying lubricant claims

By autotech-nath on November 21, 2023

The Verifi cation of Lubricant Specifi cations, VLS, is an independent organisation formed ten years ago, to verify lubricant specifications and marketing claims to protect workshops and their customers.

It has investigated 98 cases to date, with 12 cases already received this year – the vast majority of which relate to passenger car engine oils and involve incorrect claims to its chemical or physical properties (ACEA specifi cations) or where companies use the terms such as ‘manufacturer approved’ with no evidence to support such claims. A recent case involved a range of gearbox oils, automatic transmission fluids and power steering fluids claiming Merecedes-Benz approval, but no reference could be found on the approved lubricants listing on the VM’s website. VLS worked with the lubricant marketer to revise the product claims to ‘according to the specifications of…’.

autotechnician spoke with Jacquie Berryman, who took over as Chair of VLS from Mike Bewsey in September, whose mission is to support the trade through the transition to alternative fuels, the implementation of Euro 7 and maintain the body’s track record in managing non-compliance in the
lubricant market.

“The marketplace is becoming more complex with the transition to electric vehicles; the types of fl uids that those vehicles require are completely di erent,” explains Jacquie. “They perform di erently – need to be able to manage the temperature, have di erent compatibilities…The industry as a whole needs to work towards standardisation for fluids. There are tests, obviously, to ensure compatibility with the different materials that are used to ensure that the thermal management is appropriate but there aren’t really any industry specifications for electric vehicles yet, but that will come. There will then be a role for VLS to play to ensure that the products that are being marketed against those specifications are equally compliant.”



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