Again, it's just wordplay of the legal world and bean counters... I'm a simple man and here is how I see it:
If a T-IV spec'd automatic transmission fails, and failure is somehow undeniably proven to be due to the use of Valvoline MaxLife, then Valvoline is going to be held accountable, regardless of the wordplay on the bottle. Because Valvoline openly claims that MaxLife is a suitable replacement for T-IV. (Per earlier referenced PDF, and every back of the MaxLife ATF bottle.) But, as you/me/and all other users found out - MaxLife does great in all applications it is recommended for. Must be able to meet the specs, right?
And when it is unable to meet the specs - Valvoline openly admits it:
- "Valvoline does not recommend MaxLife Multi-Vehicle ATF for use in most continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) and in dual clutch transmissions (DCTs) unless specifically noted, nor in automatic transmissions where Ford Type F fluids are recommended."
- Don't know if it is still the case (maybe a reformulation took place since then), but some time ago Valvoline advised against using MaxLife ATF in Aisin Warner TF-80SC
Back to T-IV. Logic tells me that MaxLife meets the specs, and Valvoline's recommendation of being suitable/compatible is just as good as a claim to meet those specs.