A proposed class action alleges Additech, Inc. falsely touts its fuel additives in gas station advertisements even though the products provide no benefits to the “approximately 50% of new vehicles” equipped with direct injection engines.
A proposed class action alleges Additech, Inc. falsely touts its fuel additives in gas station advertisements even though the products provide no benefits to the “approximately 50% of new vehicles” equipped with direct injection engines. According to the lawsuit, which was recently removed to Washington federal court, Additech, through false representations, has “hoodwinked thousands of Washington consumers” into purchasing “little more than snake oil.”
The defendant’s Fuel System Cleaner and Diesel Guard additives are represented as able to “reduce emissions,” “increase mileage,” and “restore power” to vehicles’ engines when added to fuel, the complaint says. According to Additech, the products are designed to remove carbon deposits “from vital engine parts” by “wash[ing]” over the intake valve and manifold outside the engine’s combustion chamber.
The problem, the lawsuit argues, is that approximately 50 percent of new cars come equipped with diesel or gasoline direct-injection engines in which fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber. Such engines differ from traditional port fuel injection (PFI) engines, the suit explains, in that the fuel does not come into contact with intake valves and manifolds, meaning it cannot “wash” inner engine parts as the defendant claims.
All of this is to say the defendant’s products, according to the suit, cannot provide the advertised benefits to a significant portion of vehicles on the road, a fact the case argues drivers should not be expected to know. Additech nevertheless displays its marketing and advertisements at gas stations for drivers to view without disclosing that the additives will have no effect on direct injection engines, the suit charges. The complaint includes the following advertisement displaying the “before” and “after” effects of using the defendant’s additives:
Moreover, the case claims the defendant also overstates the supposed benefits of its products for vehicles equipped with PFI engines with advertisements that imply that engine parts can be cleaned through a single application of Additech’s products. The lawsuit argues that these representations “have no basis in fact” and are misleading to reasonable consumers.