Celebrating Two Decades of Excellence: The TOP TIER™ Approved Fuels Program Marks its 20th Anniversary

DETROIT, April 25, 2024 — This year marks the 20th anniversary of the TOP TIER™ Approved Fuels Program, an initiative that has reshaped the landscape of fuel detergency standards and clean engine vehicle performance since its inception. Collaboratively introduced in 2004 by General Motors, BMW, Toyota, and Honda, TOP TIER™ Approved Gasoline and Diesel have become synonymous with exceptional fuel quality and engine care.  Now, they are joined by eight more leading auto manufacturers including Audi, Daimler Truck, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Navistar, Stellantis, Subaru of America, and Volkswagen. Together, these auto manufacturers have raised the bar for gasoline detergency performance to meet consumers’ daily driving needs.

“From day one, our vision for the TOP TIER™ Program was clear: set a new standard for fuel detergency that meets the evolving needs of modern engines and the consumers who rely on them,” said Veronica Reilly, Program Manager, Senior Engineer, GEFL, General Motors. “Twenty years later, we celebrate not only the achievements of the past but the innovations that lie ahead.”

A Standard Born of Innovation

The TOP TIER™ Program was developed to ensure high detergency gasoline that would significantly reduce the incidence of injector plugging and valve deposit concerns, minimize vehicle emissions, and help maintain optimal performance.  From the beginning, this voluntary program included rigorous yet attainable standards, including stringent California Air Resources Board (CARB) limits for Intake Valve Deposit (IVD) and Combustion Chamber Deposit (CCD).

Roaring Success from the Starting Line

The program prides itself on being a win, win, win for consumers, fuel marketers, and automotive manufacturers alike — a vision that garnered immediate support from major fuel marketers such as Chevron, Texaco, ConocoPhillips, QuikTrip, and Shell and today includes over 80 fuel brands.    Visit the TOP TIER™ website for the full list of your favorite TOP TIER™ brands.

Growth and Recognition Over the Years

Since then, the TOP TIER™ Program has undergone several revisions to keep pace with the release of ever-changing high efficiency engine technologies. In addition to engine technology, in 2010, the program required that all TOP TIER™ additives validate their performance at an ISO 17025 accredited engine testing laboratory. With the upcoming seventh revision slated for 2024, the program will integrate Gasoline Direct Injected (GDI) Engine technology standards with the existing Port Fuel Injected (PFI) engine guidelines.  And for diesel, the new requirements will be simplified and help fuel brands better differentiate their performance through the use of two optional levels of requirements.

An Expanding Sphere of Influence

The commitment to excellence has propelled TOP TIER™ Approved Gasoline beyond North American borders, with international fuel marketers coming aboard.  There has been tremendous interest throughout the Latin Americas, and as of March 1st, Costco has launched the first TOP TIER™ Approved Gasoline brand in Japan.  

Looking Ahead — Innovation and Accessibility

In its 20th year, TOP TIER™ continues to blaze a trail as it prepares to introduce cutting-edge GDI and PFI engine technology Performance Standards. Complementing these engineering standards will be a greater emphasis on consumer awareness through digital marketing and social media presence and the launch of a new mobile phone app Station Finder to help busy Consumers find their favorite TOP TIER™ Approved Fuel brands while on the go.

A Testimony to Excellence

“We’re proud to mark two decades of TOP TIER™ as the gold standard in fuel detergent quality,” said Bill Studzinski, Center for Quality Assurance Program Manager. “Our ongoing mission is to ensure consumers have confidence that TOP TIER™ Approved Fuels have been independently validated for engine cleanliness and that the program’s automotive sponsors stand behind. The next phase of the program not only commemorates 20 years of innovation but also reinforces our commitment to future advances in fuel technology.”

For additional information visit, or contact Cindy Esler, Marketing Communications, at



The Center for Quality Assurance (CQA) develops, implements, and administers licensing programs for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specified materials such as oils, lubricants, transmission fluids, fuels, additives, and greases. By working with CQA, OEMs can focus on developing their next generation of equipment and material specifications, while CQA manages the programs that support those developments.  Through dedicated customer care and the pursuit of business excellence, our mission is to create and administer world-class licensing and quality control programs within the industries we serve.

TOP TIER™ FUELS PROGRAM – The TOP TIER™ Fuels Program was established by OEMs to develop fuel offering cleaner engine performance, lower emissions, and optimal fuel economy for drivers everywhere.

FCA ATF+4® PROGRAM – Marketplace demands and evolving transmission technology prompted FCA US LLC to establish a licensing program for advanced synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid – ATF+4.

IFC VEHICLE FLUIDS PROGRAM – Vehicle technologies are evolving at a faster pace than ever before, placing a greater emphasis on fluid performance, availability, and quality. OEMs established a licensing program to provide consumers with optimized fluid performance to meet advanced vehicle requirements.

NLGI HPM GREASE PROGRAM – The High-Performance Multiuse (HPM) Grease Program is a licensing and product certification program for greases used in various lubricating applications.

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TOP TIER™ Request to Purchase Decals

Fill out this form to obtain the information necessary for purchasing TOP TIER™ decals.

Center for Quality Assurance
Attn: TOP TIER Licensing Program | 4800 James Savage Road | Midland, MI 48642 USA

Becoming a TOP TIER™ Licensee

Fill out this form to obtain the information necessary for becoming a TOP TIER™ Licensee.
For TOP TIER™ Approved Diesel qualification, provide information on use of 10 micron (absolute) filters for low-flow dispenser pumps and 30 micron (or less) filters for high-flow dispenser pumps.

Center for Quality Assurance
Attn: TOP TIER Licensing Program | 4800 James Savage Road | Midland, MI 48642 USA