Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Michigan-based Federal-Mogul Motorparts LLC (Federal-Mogul) made unsubstantiated claims that its aftermarket Wagner OEX brake pads could stop a vehicle in a shorter distance in an emergency and reduce the risk of collisions, compared to competitors’ brake pads.
According to the agency’s March 2020 administrative complaint, since at least 2015, Federal-Mogul has manufactured, advertised, labeled, marketed, sold, and distributed Wagner OEX brake pads for use on crossover utility vehicles, SUVs, and pick-up trucks. In advertising these specific aftermarket brake pads, the FTC alleges Federal-Mogul made false or misleading claims that these “premium” brake pads could out-perform competitors’ brake pads.
Specifically, the company’s video advertisements and promotional materials claimed, allegedly without sufficient supporting scientific evidence, that in an emergency Wagner OEX brake pads: 1) will stop a pick-up truck, crossover, or SUV “up to 50 feet sooner” than competing pads, and 2) will significantly reduce the risk of collisions in such vehicles compared to competing pads.
The final order settling the FTC’s charges prohibits Federal-Mogul from making any claims about the braking benefits, performance, or efficacy of any covered brake pads, unless the representation is not misleading and, at the time it is made, is supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.
The Commission vote approving the final consent order was 5-0. (The staff contact is Sydney Knight, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2162.)
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