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<All> Slick 50 (long...)

FYI - from  the FTC's site.  Complete text available at:


>            Agreement Safeguards $10 Million in Redress to Consumers 
>  Three subsidiaries of Quaker State Corp. have agreed to settle
>  Federal Trade Commission charges that ads for Quaker State's Slick
>  50 Engine Treatment were false and unsubstantiated. Under the terms
>  of the settlement, the companies will be barred from making certain
>  claims and required to have substantiation for claims about the
>  performance, benefits, efficacy or attributes of their engine
>  lubricant products. In addition, the settlement will preserve the
>  Commission's option to seek consumer redress if class action suits
>  currently being litigated against Quaker State and its subsidiaries
>  result in less than $10 million in consumer redress. 
>  The three Quaker State subsidiaries named in the settlement are
>  Blue Coral, Inc., Blue Coral-Slick 50, Inc., and Blue Coral-Slick
>  50, Ltd. Blue Coral, Inc., is based in Cleveland, Ohio. Since its
>  1978 introduction, Slick 50 has about 30 million users world-wide
>  and retails for about $18 a quart. The company claims to have about
>  60% of the engine treatment market. 
>  In July, 1996, the FTC issued a complaint against four now-defunct
>  Quaker State subsidiaries, which have been succeeded in interest by
>  the three subsidiaries named in the settlement. The FTC's 1996
>  complaint charged that ads for Slick 50 claiming improved engine
>  performance and reduced engine wear were deceptive.


>  According to the FTC complaint, these claims and similar ones
>  falsely represented that without Slick 50, auto engines generally
>  have little or no protection from wear at start-up and commonly
>  experience premature failure caused by wear. In fact, the complaint
>  alleged, most automobile engines are adequately protected from wear
>  at start-up when they use motor oil as recommended in the owner's
>  manual. Moreover, it is uncommon for engines to experience
>  premature failure caused by wear, whether they have been treated
>  with Slick 50 or not, according to the FTC. Finally, the FTC
>  alleged that Slick 50 neither coats engine parts with a layer of
>  PTFE nor meets military specifications for motor oil additives, as
>  falsely claimed. 
>  The FTC complaint also charged that Slick 50 lacked substantiation
>  for advertising claims that, compared to motor oil alone, the
>  product: 
>  --reduces engine wear; 
>  --reduces engine wear by more than 50%; 
>  --reduces engine wear by up to 50%; 
>  --reduces engine wear at start-up; 
>  --extends the duration of engine life; 
>  --lowers engine temperatures; 
>  --reduces toxic emissions; 
>  --increases gas mileage; and 
>  --increases horsepower. 
>  In addition, the complaint alleged that the company did not have
>  adequate substantiation for its advertising claims that one
>  treatment of Slick 50 continues to reduce wear for 50,000 miles and
>  that it has been used in a significant number of U.S. Government
>  vehicles. 
>  Finally, the complaint challenged ads stating that "tests prove"
>  the engine wear reduction claims make by Slick 50. In fact,
>  according to the FTC complaint, tests do not prove that Slick 
>  50 reduces engine wear at start up, or by 50%, or that one
>  treatment reduces engine wear for 50,000 miles. 


>  The settlement also prohibits any claims about the performance,
>  benefits, efficacy, attributes or use of engine lubricants unless
>  Quaker State's subsidiaries possess and rely on competent and
>  reliable evidence to substantiate the claims. In addition, it
>  prohibits the Quaker State subsidiaries from claiming that any
>  other Slick 50 motor vehicle lubricant reduces wear on a part,
>  extends the part's life, lowers engine temperature, reduces toxic
>  emissions, increases gas mileage or increases horsepower unless
>  they can substantiate the claim. The subsidiaries also will be
>  required to notify resellers of the product about the settlement
>  with the FTC and the restrictions on advertising claims. 

That's one for "the good guys".