New Jersey Bans 19 Motor Oil Products for False and Misleading Label Claims

New Jersey Bans 19 Motor Oil Products for False and Misleading Label Claims
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December 5, 2014

About 20 brands of motor oil have now been outlawed in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Office of Weights and Measures banned 19 motor oil products after laboratory testing confirmed that the product did not live up to the viscosity claims promised on the label.

The banned products can no longer be sold in the state and retailers that continue to sell them will be subject to a civil penalty of at least $100 per package or container – a penalty far in excess of the approximately $3 to $4 per quart bottle for which many of these products have been sold.

The brands include Auto Club Motor Oil, Black Knight Motor Oil, Lube State Motor Oil, MaxiGuard MG, Orbit Motor Oil, TruStar Motor Oil, U.S. Economy Motor Oil, and U.S. Spirit Motor Oil. A full list can be found here.

Viscosity is a measure of a liquid's tendency to flow. High viscosity fluids are considered thick and have slower flow rates, while low viscosity fluids are considered thin and have faster flow rates.

The state issued the ban after a state-contracted lab revealed that each of the products failed to conform to the viscosity promised on the product label. For example, motor oils labeled 10W-40 had viscosity measures that were widely and unacceptably at variance with the universally defined characteristics of 10W-40 motor oil. The products therefore allegedly bear misleading labels that do not inform consumers about their appropriateness for specific motor vehicle engines.

The use of a motor oil with viscosity levels that are either too high or too low for a vehicle's engine specifications may result in the risk of engine failure, excess engine wear, and/or decreased fuel efficiency.