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OPEI advises consumers to ‘Look Before You Pump’ at gas station

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing 100 small-engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers, recently announced a national ethanol education and consumer protection campaign called ‘Look Before You Pump.’

The ‘Look Before You Pump’ education campaign cautions consumers that it is harmful and illegal to use higher than 10-percent ethanol gas in any outdoor power equipment, such as mowers, chain saws, snow throwers, UTVs, generators and other small-engine products.

The urgency of the industry’s campaign comes from research that shows high-ethanol blends of gasoline can damage or destroy small engines not designed to handle it. A recent OPEI/Harris Interactive study shows the vast majority of Americans (71 percent) are “not at all sure” if it is illegal or legal to put high-level ethanol gas (i.e. anything higher than 10-percent ethanol) into engines such as those in boats, mowers, chain saws, snow mobiles, generators and other engine products.

The ‘Look Before You Pump’ campaign will reach consumers through radio and video public service announcements (PSA), fact sheets, in-store displays, labeling and product hang-tags. A prominent, red warning hand indicating ‘OK’ for 10-percent ethanol and ‘No’ for mid-level ethanol blends (such as E15, E30, E85) is the campaign’s main graphic.

For more information, visit www.LookBeforeYouPump.com and search for #LookB4UPump on Twitter and Facebook.

“Although there is continued uncertainty in the renewable fuels market, one thing for certain is that the way consumers select and use fuel will be changing in the coming years,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI.

“It is incumbent upon our industry to be proactive. We are cautioning American consumers and business owners whose livelihood depends on our equipment to be more mindful at the gas pump. Don’t assume that the gas you put in your car can still go in your mower, chain saw or generator.”

According to Todd Teske, chairman, president and CEO of Briggs & Stratton Corporation, the world’s largest  manufacturer of small engines, and chair of OPEI’s board, “It is critical that we educate all users of outdoor power equipment about the dangers misfueling can cause to their equipment. Our number one goal is to protect our customers.”

OPEI urges consumers to read their equipment operating manual before filling with gasoline to ensure they use the right fuel for that engine. 

Dealer Web Portal

OPEI has developed a number of resources and materials so that every dealer can inform their customers in the way that best fits their needs. These resources can help consumers minimize misfueling, which can lead to customer satisfaction issues.

OPEI invites dealers to visit www.tinyurl.com/EthanolEducation. After completing a simple registration process, dealers will find “print-on-demand” copies of:

The ‘Look Before You Pump’ Campaign Mark, which can be used on labels, packaging, fact sheets, and in brochures and ads;
Fact sheets for store employees and for consumers;
A static-cling window decal;
Hang-tags for product; and
Downloadable videos for in-store useFor more information about OPEI, visit www.opei.org.

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