Briggs and Stratton Warns Consumers New Ethanol e-15 Will Harm Small Engines

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN- October 25, 2010 - Briggs & Stratton advises outdoor power equipment users to be aware of a new fuel with a higher level of ethanol that could harm small engines. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved higher levels of ethanol (E-15 or 15% Ethanol) in gasoline for use in only 2007 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 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. With an estimated 80 million walk behind and riding lawn mowers, valuing almost 50 billion dollars in garages all over the U.S., the financial burden to consumers is astronomical.

“Briggs & Stratton 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. 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.”

Deanna Zabel
Briggs & Stratton Corporation