Ottawa, May 31, 2002 - Canadian consumers will no longer be duped by false claims regarding an alleged fuel saving/emission reducing device known as the Platinum Vapour Injector (PVI), which sold for up to $300. After a hearing initiated by the Competition Bureau, the Competition Tribunal found that PVI International Inc., and the individuals behind the company, Michael Golka and Darren Golka of Edmonton, Alberta, contravened the Competition Act by making false and misleading representations to the public in promoting the PVI. The Tribunal also found that, contrary to the Act, PVI International and Michael and Darren Golka made certain "performance" claims regarding the PVI which were not supported by "adequate and proper" tests.
The Tribunal has ordered PVI International, Michael Golka and Darren Golka to cease making the representations with respect to the PVI for a period of 10 years, the maximum available under the Act. The company was also ordered to pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $75,000. The individuals behind PVI International were personally ordered to pay $25,000 each for their role in the conduct.
"Consumers are particularly vulnerable when it comes to unsubstantiated product performance claims," said Raymond Pierce, Deputy Commissioner of Competition, Fair Business Practices Branch. "The Tribunal's decision makes it clear that corporate officers, directors and other responsible individuals who fail to exercise due diligence will be held accountable."
Consumers were enticed into buying gas and diesel versions of the PVI through newspaper, radio and internet advertisements, by claims that the PVI could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 22%, while reducing harmful emissions. Expert testimony introduced by the Competition Bureau and accepted by the Tribunal showed these claims to be false or misleading. Claims that the U.S. government had approved the PVI were also found to be false or misleading.
The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that ensures all Canadians enjoy the benefits of a competitive economy, low prices, product choice and quality service. It oversees the application of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act, designed to improve the quality of information in the marketplace.
For general public enquiries, please contact:
Competition Bureau's Information Centre 1-800-348-5358