Class Action Suit Against Group III Manufacturers (ie Castrol)

Not open for further replies.
Nov 26, 2002
Texas & BWI Area
Anyone in on this plan?

I say it is deceptive consumer marketing in reference to the "synthetic" label. In itself the BB arbitration was a mediated decision, but legally baseless in this situation.

Basically what I want is not MONEY. I just want to see future oil bottles to say either "PAO" based or Group III stamped. Kudus to AMSOIL for stamping there ASL series cases with just that...PAO.

I did see one class action suit today againts Castrol Syntec Fuel System cleaner on a side note.

Viva la BISTOG Resistance'
outrun, I think you would be wasting your time. It would cost a huge amount of money with no guarantee that you would win. If you are mad at Castro, just do not buy their motor oils.

Personally, I am somewhat upset with Castrol marketing. I don't understand what they are doing with the German Castrol and the American made Castrol Syntec probably should be lower in cost, if it is a Group III. I do think Castrol makes good conventional motor oils. Based on what I have been able to find out, I think it is probably a toss-up between Pennzoil and Castrol for the best OTC conventional motor oil.

If you are mad at Castro, just do not buy their motor oils

What did Castro ever do to you? He doesn't make/sell any oil, that I'm aware of!


Just kidding...though it was funny.
Anyway, I hope Castro dies a gruesome death..........and soon please!

What did Castro ever do to you? He doesn't make/sell any oil, that I'm aware of!

That you are ware of.........the cabal has been relvealed!!!!!

Fidel Castro makes oil.......

I was wondering about the new Elian Gonzalez brand additive........

Now it makes perfect sense!!
LOL who really cares about what Castrol do. Its their decision that they decieve the customers. Just dont buy their oils. They arent the only scams in the automotive market! Think about all the other REAL dodgy products out there like the 'Twin Turbo Zet'...
Three considerations about starting any class action lawsuit:

There's no cost to the plaintiffs for any costs unless the suit is settled in their favor;

So, it's ALWAYS about money since the lawyers don't see a dime unless they prevail against the defendant. And their cut comes right off the top of the award before the plaintiffs ever see dime one.

Big companies may have deep pockets, but they also have highly qualified lawyers on the payroll. At any time, they can put more on retainer if needed, too.

Whether a suit would even proceed would depend on finding a lawyer willing to file. Once filed, any suit would still have to survive the judge's determination whether to dismiss prior to trial. I know of no legal precedent that requires oil companies to disclose the nature of their base oil stocks. Some voluntarily do that on their own, if only in general terms. Others decline as a matter of proprietary interests. outrun, no one is holding a gun to your head to intimidate you into buying Castrol products. If you feel the company is deceptive, vote your oil choice with your wallet. The type of case you're calling for would literally be making law, not interpreting existing law. Judges are reticent to venture out on that limb since lawmaking's the proper perview of federal and state legislatures, not courtrooms. Also, in the judicial food chain, judges with a string of appellate court reversals don't look good for higher court appointments.

Finally whether you agree with the legal ramifications of the BBB National Advertising Division's decision or not, it would be presented as evidence in a class action lawsuit nevertheless, and would have to be answered. There were some pretty highly regarded tribologists who testified before the arbitrator about the definitions of synthetics in general and the specific synthetic nature of Group III lube base stocks in particular.

Group III base stocks are an established fact of life and were being used as the basis of some European synthetic oils before they were in America. Mobil lost the BBB arbitration decision, but they're crying all the way to the bank. (Exxon/Mobil is one of, if not the, largest producers of Group III lube base stocks world-wide.

[ October 20, 2003, 01:39 AM: Message edited by: Ray H ]

Of course i agree...i not going to really fool with the courts. Albeit a sweet victory if the shammer would be rightfully humbled for all the masses ShamTec "placebo-ized" since the late 90's.

Of further note here is another post borrowed from another Car board. Castrol Syntec as according to the as according to Mobil once contained upwards of 80-90's PAO before the switch.

From the F150 board

Interesting huh?

Posted by: junehhan

Hey guys, okay, I found these articles and did some cut and pasting to prove to you guys
that Castrol is not a synthetic. I got most of these from if you want to
read for yourself.
I'd like to thank Randy Williams for all his help. Randy has been a big help in not only helping to expose this dirty secret from Castrol but at the Taurus Car Club, giving us advice on mod's and stuff.

A HUGE WARNING about the Castrol Syntech brand of oil!!!

It is not a true synthetic, but more a badly labelled 'hydro-cracked' oil that has a bituminous
(natural) oil base, and just enough additives to meet the governments description for a

Castrol, who got the formula from Shell, was recently taken to court for false advertising by
Mobil for this very thing. However, the court ruled in favor of Castrol in that they didn't falsely
lead the public, but this does not erase the facts brought out in the case that Castrol's oil is
'barely' a synthetic.

OKay Gentlemen,

Here is the exact (as much as I can make it) article from the Oct. 1999 Hart's Lubricants
World on the Mobil/Castrol Synthetic debate.

It looks like Castrol has pulled one over on all of us.... Please pardon the typos this is
going to be rough.

"Synthetic. The word has become almost a proscription in the industr, especially among
scientific and technical organizations, such as the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
and the American Petroleum Institute (API).
Ask a marketer of motor oil products formulated with hydroprocessed mineral oils, and you
might get a definition that involves cost-efficiencies and consumer choices. Ask an
engineer involved in manufacturing polyalphaolefins (PAOs) or esters, and compositions
might be the determiing factor. Despite the intese debate over the origins of synthetics, an
absolute definition has remained inlimbo for many years, with much of the responsibility
placed on base oil manufacturers and lubricant marketers.
It was only recently, in a decision by the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council
of Better Business Bureaus, that the first basic action an ruling in the United States set a
strong precedence for a broader description in the marketing of synthetics. In this first
installment of a two-part story, Lubricants World takes a look at the NAD's ruling and
explores the revivied debate surrounding the defintino of "synthetic".

In a ruling released in April 1999, the NAD addressed complaints filed by Mobil Oil Corp.
regarding the truthfulness of Castrol North America Inc.'s claim that its Syntec Provides
"superior engine protection" to all other motor oils, both synthetic and conventional, and
that Syntec's esters provide "unique molecular bonding." Mobil charged that the
advertisements inaccurately represented that the current formulation of Syntec is synthetic.
The challenge was filed based on statements Castrol made in a series of television
commercials, Web site publications, package labels, and brochures.
The NAD divided its decision to address three issues raised in the complaint. Is the
reformulated Syntec synthetic motor oil? Has Castrol substantiated its superiority claims?
Has Syntec been degraded?

The NAD determined that the evidence presented by the advertiser constitiutes a
reasonable basis for the claim that Castrol Syntec, as currently formulated, is a synthetic
motor oil. NAD noted that Mobil markets hyudroisomerized basestocks as synthetic in
Europe and elsewhere. NAD noted that the actions taken by the SAE to delete any
referance to "synthetic" in its description of basestocks in section J354 and API's
consequent removal of any mention of "synthetic" in API 1509 were decisions by the
industry not to restrict use of the term "syntetic" to the definition now profferred by Mobil.
Further, the SAE Automotive Lubricants Reference Book, an extensivley peer-reviewed
publication, states base oils made through the processes used to create Shell's
hudroisomerized basestock, severe cracking, and reforming processes may be marketed
as "synthetic".
Despite its prior ruling, the NAD advised that Syntec could not advertise a superior
protection claim.
The NAD determined that though Mobil presented clear evindence that Castrol has made a
major change to Syntec's formulation, it was not sufficient to demonstrate that Syntec has
been "degraded".
In a statement to Lubricants World, Castrol's legal counsel said,"The NAD's decision was
clearly correct. In accepting Castol's position on the appropriate defintion of a synthetic
basestock and concluding that Castrol Syntec is a fully synthetic oil, the NAD accepted
the overwhelming evidence Castrol presented, which included th opinions of leading
scienteist.. and statements from Shell, Exxon, and other industry sources. The NAD also
relied on the SAE's rejection of a restrictive definition of the type advanced by Mobil. In fact,
although it had the right to do so, Mobil did not attempt to appeal the NAD's decision."
Mark Sztenderosicz,a senior research engineer from Chevron Products Co.'s Base Oil
Technology Team, stated his company agreed with the NAD's decision. "We feel strongly,"
he said, "that 'synthetic' is a fairly broad term and a number of basestocks besides PAOs
fit the description. To the extent that the NAD came to a similar conclusion and was
unwilling to limit 'synthetic' to a narrow definition, we agree. We further agree wiht what we
consider to be a commonsense interpretation that consumers perceive the word 'synthetic'
to mean something manmade, but not made necessarily from a particular compound or
Mobil contended that Castrol misleads consumers that Syntec is a fully synthetic motor oil
despite the fact that Syntec is no longer synthetic. The challenger alleged that after years
of manufacturing Syntec with PAO, Castrol replaced PAO, which had constituted nearly
70% of the volume of the product, with hydroprocessed mineral oil in approximately
December 1997. As a result of an independent laboratory test conducted by Savant Inc.,
Mobil maintained that samples of Syntec purchased in June and December 1997 contained
93% and 80% PAO. Other samples of Syntec, one purchased in December 1997 and four
purchased in 1998, contained no PAO, and instead contained 100% mineral oil.
Furthermore, Mobil alleged that Castrol degraded Syntec by substituting hydroprocessed
mineral oil for PAO to the detriment of the consumer. Even though Syntec was able to
meet the minimum industry standards, Mobil contended that in no way does it prove the
current Syntec is as good as it was when it was made with PAO.
Castrol defended its claim that Castrol Syntec is synthetic based on the nature of the
basestocks used in the formulation (Shell's hydroisomerized basestocks). This is
substantiated by the opinions of chemistry experts; authorities from Shell and Exxon; the
SAE's Automotive Lubricants Reference Book; a paper by Dr. Martin Voltz, a Mobil
scientist; and an independant motor oil expert. Castrol also contends that its data show the
current formulation of Syntec provides more protection than the old formulation and is, in
fact superior to Mobil 1, Mobils synthetic oil.
In response Mobils contention that Castrol deceived its consumers by not informing them of
the change in the formulation, the advertiser submitted a stated by Richard Kabel, a motor
oil expert. Kabel asserted that motor oil manumfacturers, including Mobil, rebularly make
changes in their formulations without disclosing these changes to consumers. He stated
that the industry certification and licensing program is designed to provide motor oil
manufacturers with the flexibility to modify their formulations as long as the oil continues to
meet industry standards."

Sorry folks, this is too much all at once. I'll type more tomorrow. There's four more pages to

Anybody think that pure mineral oil will do a good job protecting your engine at 200F or that
it will be friendly to your 'extremely warm' turbo bearings, even with 30 seconds of cool
down time??? I think not. I am not one for semantics and this is pure legalese to me. It is
mineral oil, and that is that.


While the hunt for the Oct. issue of Hart's Lubricants World continues in earnest, here is
what I got from an Amsoil Jobber that I know who is fortunate enough to have access to the

"FYI, According to Mobil oil company, Castrol has been selling their full
synthetic Syntec for the last two years, with nothing in the bottle but
100% petroleum oil. Not a single ingredient that can be defined as
synthetic in any stretch of the imagination. This information just came out
in Hart's Lubricant World magazine. They, as well as, other oil companies,
are using what is called a hydrocracking process to further refine the
crude oil from the ground and calling it a synthetic because it comes close
to meeting some of the parameters that synthetic oil meets. I suggest you
get a copy of this article ASAP and show it to your garages and quick
lubes, especially the ones that handle Castrol products. This in my
opinion, is a simple bait and switch move by a large corporation. It is
also fraud in my opinion and I hope this really bites them in the behind.
I called my Castrol Xpress lube center and told him about what they have
been doing and got quite a response. The owner is pulling all his Syntec from
his stock and making Castrol take it back and also upped his Amsoil stock
levels. He along with his manager said they will never sell another quart
of a misrepresented Castrol product. This just is indicative of what
motivates most synthetic marketers to begin with. We as Amsoil dealers know
that people who use synthetics do so because of the perceived protection
they are getting and won't settle for a cheapened product. This has been
evidenced by the success of our series 2,000 line. Castrol has severely under estimated
why people use synthetics. This
could really be a God send for our market once this information gets out
to the general public. I will be giving a copy of this article to our local
paper and hopefully they will publish part of it. You all should look at sources in your local
area to get the message out. If you post anything on any chat rooms on the internet, be
careful to quote the article from Lubricants World and not your words..... "

Mickey, I'm getting the feeling from a lot of people now (most whom have at least seen the
article) that your previous explosive flame of Castrol 'Syn-Lie' was right on target..... This is
just foul.


The article posted above is all of a sudden very difficult to get a hold of. I am trying, but not
having much success. However I have heard from an Amsoil jobber following the case
closely that Chevrolet has just pulled the Castrol Syntec from the list of acceptable oils to
be used in the Corvette.

June H. Han
[email protected]
1997 Taurus w/Duratec 3.0
Borla Cat-Back Exhaust
K&N Filter
17 in Team Loco 143 Rims
It is strange to see these references being used against The Mobil Corporation:

"This is substantiated by the opinions of chemistry experts; authorities from Shell and Exxon;"

I wonder if we'd see the same ruling today now that Exxon has merged with Mobil.
Not open for further replies.