WASHINGTON (April 21, 2000)—Two motor oil additive marketers plan to settle Federal Trade Commission complaints in proposed agreements that include $2 million in consumer refunds from one of the companies.
The FTC, in April 1999, charged the manufacturers of "Dura Lube" and "Motor Up" with making unsubstantiated advertising claims for saying their products could prolong engine life, prevent breakdowns and reduce the risk of engine damage compared with motor oil alone.
Dura Lube also claimed its engine treatment fluid reduced engine emissions and improved gas mileage by 35 percent, the FTC said.
Motor Up alleged its treatment prevented engine corrosion and would not drain out of the engine even when the oil is changed.
Both companies depicted tests in their advertising which, they said, proved their products lived up to the claims made for them.
But the tests did not prove anything of the kind, and the companies´ assertions that they did were false, the agency alleged.
In the consent agreements announced March 29, both companies agreed to make no claims about the benefits or efficacy of any engine oil additive without "competent or reliable evidence to support the claims," according to an FTC press release.
Also, Dura Lube must give the FTC $2 million to reimburse misled customers, and must visit distributors to change the labels of the product to comply with the agency´s order.
Agency commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the consent agreements.
Those agreements will be subject to public comment for 30 days, after which the FTC´s commissioners will decide whether to make them final.