TOP TIER™ for OEMs
TOP TIER™ approved fuel is the optimal standard for gasoline detergency. Many of the world’s top automakers–BMW, General Motors, Stellantis, Ford, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Navistar and Audi–recognize that the current EPA minimum detergent requirements do not go far enough to ensure optimal engine cleaning performance.
OEMs created and continue to oversee and monitor the TOP TIER™ Fuel Program and its effectiveness. The Program is a collaboration among vehicle and engine manufacturers (OEM Sponsors) intended to create a winning situation for OEMs, fuel retailers and vehicle owners.
Through the TOP TIER™ Programs, Sponsors are able to create and recommend a standard by which they can make fuel quality improvements to meet the demands of ever-changing engine technology. Fuel retailers voluntarily join the Program to be recognized for supplying fuel that meets the TOP TIER™ requirements. The vehicle or equipment operator ultimately benefits when critical components of the engine stay cleaner and performance-reducing deposits are kept at a minimum. Vehicle customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal of the TOP TIER™ Program.
The detergency package is validated at an independent ISO 17025 certified laboratory by the additive company to the TOP TIER™ Performance Standards (Gasoline Performance Standard / Diesel Performance Standard). Once the detergency package is approved by the TOP TIER™ automotive sponsors, the fuel supply terminal will then supply fuel with the agreed detergent and treat rate. Fuel marketers with a license agreement will purchase the TOP TIER™ fuel from the terminal.
There is a minimal annual license fee based on the number of service stations owned by the fuel marketer.
The TOP TIER™ program is not just about a high detergency rate and non organometallics. It is a robust engine cleanliness and performance specification designed to specific chemistry at a proven concentration. The approved detergent package applied at the specified concentration must pass the required testing and be approved for use in TOP TIER™ licensed fuel. A high detergency rate of a detergent that is not approved does not mean a fuel is TOP TIER™.
Random station audits are performed to ensure compliance to the stated standard. These audits are to provide an extra measure of confidence to the consumer. The TOP TIER™ logo indicates the station offers a fuel which meets an OEM designed performance standard.
TOP TIER™ is a widely recognized trademark which represents conformance to the requirements and conditions of the program. It may only be used on licensed retail brands.
All gasoline stations within a country under a licensed fuel brand must use TOP TIER™ approved additives at the specified detergency treat rate and contain no organometallic additives (MMT or Iron). Gasoline fuel marketers cannot select certain service locations under a specific brand to be TOP TIER™ certified.
Because of the complexity of the supply chain, diesel fuel marketers may enroll select stations in the TOP TIER™ program. You may direct consumers to your certified station by listing it within the website link provided on the TOP TIER™ licensed brands pages for gasoline or diesel. All grades of diesel fuel under the branded canopy must meet the TOP TIER™ Diesel Fuel requirements (this includes No. 2 diesel).
No. Any fuel marketer can become a TOP TIER™ licensee by successfully completing the steps outlined in How to Become Licensed.
The TOP TIER™ license agreement states a specific minimum detergent treat rate. You are allowed to use up to three times that specific minimum detergent treat rate.
The additive companies supplying detergency additives will run the detergency additive packages on the new tests and provide you with approved treat rates and performance test data. If the TOP TIER™ program performance testing requirements change, the specified detergent additives will need to be run using those new tests in order to be considered for a TOP TIER™ license.
If a terminal only supplies LAC detergent level, work with them to see if they have any options to meet the TOP TIER™ detergent treat rates and requirements. Alternatively, consider other terminals that can supply TOP TIER™ compliant fuel.
The TOP TIER™ program is not just about a higher detergency rate, it also validates effectiveness of the chemistry of the detergent. It is an engine cleanliness to a performance specification. Merely adding more detergent does not necessarily mean a fuel is better. Fuel marketers can meet the TOP TIER™ specification requirements and offer TOP TIER™ certified fuel by using approved detergency additives at approved treat rates and becoming licensed.
TOP TIER™ represents a performance standard that the sponsoring OEMs support. Licensed fuel retailers are prohibited from saying they are better than TOP TIER™, as TOP TIER™ allows a range of approved additive concentration, therefore any approved treat rate is “TOP TIER™”.
Upon completion of a TOP TIER™ license agreement, your licensed brand names will be added to the TOP TIER™ website. The TOP TIER™ logo must be displayed at your service stations. You are also able to use approved TOP TIER™ merchandise and advertise your fuel is TOP TIER™ licensed.
If both of the fuels contain the TOP TIER™ approved additives at the approved treat rate using an in-line injection system at the fuel supply terminal prior to co-mingling, the test data provided for each fuel is sufficient.