ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The new rule issued by the Federal Trade Commission, on fuel pump labeling of ethanol content in gasoline, requires ethanol blended fuels be labeled at the gas pump as: “Use Only in Flex-Fuel Vehicles/May Harm Other Engines.”
According to most engine manufacturers, fuels containing greater than ten percent ethanol can damage or destroy outdoor power equipment, including lawn mowers, chain saws, generators, utility vehicles and other small engine equipment such as motorcycle, snow mobile and boat engines. Fuels containing more than 10 percent may void product warranties, and by Federal law, it is illegal to use higher ethanol fuel blends, specifically E15, in outdoor power equipment.
Consumer surveys conducted in April and May 2015 by the OPEI, found that Americans do not pay much attention to labels at the pump. Less than one quarter (23 percent) stated that they notice the ethanol content on the fuel pump. Less than half (47 percent) of Americans admitted they check the fuel pump for any warning labels when fueling up their cars at gas stations.
Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) said, “We appreciate efforts by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to regulate and manage the rapidly-changing fuels marketplace, requiring that gas pumps be labeled with percentage of gasoline and percentage of ethanol added. However, the agency didn’t go far enough. We fear consumers will remain confused and inadvertently misfuel their small engine equipment, in particular.”