Nineteen motor oil products have been banned from store shelves across New Jersey after lab testing proved they were deceptively labeled and could end up causing fatal damage in the vehicles that use them.

Steve Lee, NJ Division of Consumer Affairs
Steve Lee, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, announces a ban on 19 motor oil products. (Townsquare Media NJ)

The New Jersey Office of Weights and Measures issued an order Thursday that prohibits the sale of the products. Retail establishments that continue to carry the oils will be subject to a fine of at least $100 per unit.

"We have no reason to believe that retailers knew that these products were mislabeled," said Steve Lee, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. "Our goal is not to penalize these retailers, but to work with them in order to remove these products from sale in New Jersey."

Lee said the state will be going after the manufacturers as well. None of the products in question were manufactured in New Jersey.

Officers obtained motor oil samples from dozens of stores over the summer. Locations ranged from supermarkets to mini gas station shops.

State-contracted lab work found that each of the now-banned products delivered a different performance than what was promised on the label.

Motor oils banned by NJ
U.S. Economy and U.S. Spirit are among the motor oil brands accused of mislabeling their products. (Townsquare Media NJ)

"If a car owner uses a motor oil with viscosity levels that are either too high or too low for a car's engine, it may lead to engine wear, premature engine failure over time and reduced gas efficiency," Lee said.

The small print on one of the banned bottles indicated the product is not suitable for "most gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1930."

Many of the products were sold at cheaper prices, according to Lee, attracting those who wanted to spend less or couldn't afford top-of-the-line motor oil. The unfortunate trade-off was a dishonest product.

"It makes no sense for these consumers who are trying to save a few dollars to then face the possibility of extra maintenance costs, the cost of early engine failure or extra trips to the gas station," Lee said.


  • Auto Club Motor Oil SAE 5W-30
  • Auto Club Motor Oil SAE 10W-30
  • Auto Club Motor Oil SAE 10W-40
  • Auto Club Motor Oil SAE 20W-50
  • Black Knight Motor Oil 5-30
  • Black Knight Motor Oil 10-40
  • LubeState Motor Oil SAE 10W-30
  • MaxiGuard MG 10-30
  • MaxiGuard MG 10-40
  • MaxiGuard MG 20-50
  • MaxiGuard MG SAE30
  • Orbit Motor Oil 5-20
  • Orbit Motor Oil 10-40
  • TruStar Motor Oil 10-30
  • U.S. Economy Motor Oil 5-30
  • U.S. Economy Motor Oil 10-40
  • U.S. Economy Motor Oil SAE 10W-40
  • U.S. Spirit Motor Oil SAE 10W-30
  • U.S. Spirit Motor Oil SAE 10W-40

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