March 6, 2006

Competition Bureau seeks order to prevent misleading claims about Econopro device

OTTAWA, ONT-The federal Competition Bureau is seeking an order from the Competition Tribunal to prevent Econoco and its directors from making misleading representations to the public about its Econopro device, which the company claims saves fuel and reduces emissions. The Bureau's application aims to prohibit Econoco, company president RĂ©al Laroche and Claude Tardif, former vice-president and technical director, from making representations about the Econopro (or similar device) that are not based on adequate and proper tests. Such representations may be in the form of a statement, warranty or guarantee of the product's performance or efficacy. Econoco claims the Econopro: generates fuel savings of 10% or more; completely eliminates gasoline engine emissions and reduces diesel engine emissions by 40% to 60%; improves engine performance; and separates the hydrocarbon chain using an electromagnetic field, allowing for better oxygenation and perfect fuel combustion. Provisions of the Competition Act prohibit making representations that are false or misleading, or statements about the performance or efficacy of products that are not based on adequate and proper tests. The Tribunal could order Econoco and its directors to: cease such conduct; publish or otherwise disseminate a notice announcing the Tribunal's decision to members of the public likely to have been affected by the conduct; or pay an administrative monetary penalty not exceeding $100,000 for a corporation and $50,000 for an individual for a first order. The respondents have 30 days to file a response with the Tribunal.

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