Issue: Oct 2012


Briggs & Stratton Corporation Warns Consumers Higher Ethanol Levels (E-15) Will Harm Small Engines



by Jon Knox

Briggs & Stratton continues to advise outdoor power equipment users to be aware of a new fuel with a higher level of ethanol that could harm small engines. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved higher levels of ethanol (E-15 or 15% Ethanol) in gasoline for use only in2001 and newer automobiles and light trucks.

All Briggs & Stratton small gasoline powered engines are designed to run on up to E-10, or up to 10% ethanol. Use of higher levels of ethanol will negatively affect engine performance and longevity, permanently damage the engine and void manufacturer's warranty. The Operator's Manual clearly explains what fuels can be used to ensure a properly functioning product. Consumers should also pay close attention to the gas pumps at local filling stations. Some may offer both E-10 and E-15 or have blender pumps that dispense mid-level ethanol fuels for "flex-fuel" automobiles. There are web sites available to identify the locations of gas stations which sell E-0 fuel. With an estimated 80 million walk behind and riding lawn mowers, valued at almost 50 billion dollars in garages all over the U.S., the potential financial impact on consumers is astronomical.

"Briggs & Stratton fully supports efforts towards energy independence and the use of biofuels; however our products were not designed to run on any fuel containing ethanol over 10%," said Laura Timm, Communications Director at Briggs & Stratton. "We are deeply concerned for consumers who own our products and who may inadvertently put E-15 in their products, ultimately causing damage and voiding their warranty. Although currently it is illegal to use E-15 in anything other than a vehicle or light truck that was manufactured after 2001, we are strongly encouraging the EPA to educate consumers on the adverse impacts E-15 will have on small engines and to put methods in place for consumers to prevent misfueling."

Briggs & Stratton Corporation, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the world's largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. Its wholly owned subsidiary Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group LLC is North America's number one marketer of portable generators and pressure washers, and is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of standby generators, along with lawn and garden and turf care through its Simplicity(®), Snapper(®), Snapper Pro(®, )Ferris(®) and Murray(®) brands. Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in over 100 countries on six continents.

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