Briggs & Stratton Co. and other engine manufacturers want the government to ensure that current grades of gasoline will remain available when fuel with a higher ethanol content - which could damage engines - is introduced as soon as this summer.
The manufacturers, represented by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and 11 other trade groups, have petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to require the continued availability of gasoline with no more than 10% ethanol content.
Ethanol is a fuel additive made from corn. The EPA has approved a 15% blend for newer-model vehicles that could be available this summer, according to petitioners that represent Wisconsin engine makers Briggs & Stratton, Mercury Marine Inc., Kohler Co., BRP Inc., and companies in other states.
The higher ethanol blend, E15, could damage or ruin millions of engines, according to the manufacturers, because their products were not designed to run on fuel with more than 10% ethanol in it.
Overheating and engine performance are among the problems that face owners of boats, lawn mowers and other outdoor power products if they're mistakenly fueled with E15.