WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2001 -- The marketers of the Super FuelMAX automotive fuel-line magnet, advertised as providing dramatic fuel-saving and emissions-reducing benefits, have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that their claims were unsubstantiated.

It's the latest in a series of cases involving unsubstantiated fuel economy and engine performance claims. The FTC previously halted allegedly deceptive advertising by the marketers of Dura Lube, Motor Up, Prolong, Valvoline, Slick 50, and STP engine treatments. Earlier this year, the agency sued Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and its Oil-Chem Research Corp. subsidiary to halt false and misleading advertising for zMax auto additives, including claims that zMax increases gas mileage by a minimum of 10 percent.

The settlement would bar the Gadget Universe catalog and its CEO from misrepresenting the actual benefits or efficacy of any supposedly fuel-saving or emissions-reducing products for motor vehicles. It would also prohibit misrepresentations about testimonials, endorsements, tests, or research.

According to the FTC complaint, Esrim Ve Sheva Holding Corp., doing business as Gadget Universe, and its CEO, Alexander Elnekaveh, advertised and sold Super FuelMAX through catalog sales and on their Internet site. Advertising for the device claimed, "Here's one the big oil companies don't want you to know about," "SAVE UP TO 27% ON GAS," and "The Super FuelMAX . . . clamps onto my fuel line, and two powerful neodymium conductors use the scientific principal of magnetic resonance to give me better fuel burn. A certified EPA laboratory reports an amazing 27% in increased mileage and 42% reduction in harmful pollutants." Graphics in the ads showed unruly fuel molecules lining up in straight columns and rows after passing through the Super FuelMAX.