Green Gas Nozzle Handles for Diesel Fuel are NOT an Industry Standard

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June 30, 2014

While it’s widely known that most gas stations use green nozzle handles to represent diesel fuel, it’s important to note that this is not a set industry standard. Good Sam Club member Neil J Buckley experienced over $500 in damages to his vehicle from a visit to an Iowa BP station.

Neil contacted Action Line to report, “While traveling across Iowa with our Grand Junction 34 QRL, I fueled up my tow vehicle, a Ford F350 6.4 powerstroke at a BP station. We pulled in, stopped at a dual handled pump, one of them being a green handled pump, made the purchase at the pump. The pump was an older one with the lever type actuator located on the handle rest, there were no octane selection buttons to press as with the newer pumps. Almost immediately upon leaving the station, the vehicle lost power. I went to the nearest Ford dealer, 18 miles west, and was informed my fuel tank was full of gasoline. The service manager immediately asked where I fueled up and indicated this was not the first time they had seen the same issue, from the same BP station.”

Neil reached out to BP to make them aware of this issue and that this resulted in over $500 in repairs, plus the cost of the lost fuel that had to be removed from the vehicle.  He noted that “most gas companies follow the customary practice of using green handled pumps to designate diesel fuel” and asked BP to align themselves with the great majority of the service stations in America using green pump handles to dispense diesel fuel. Enough gas stations use this diesel fuel practice making it appear to be industry standard.
BP Consumer Relations responded to Neil saying:

“We apologize for any inconvenience caused by your use of our green handled pump that you assumed to be diesel fuel at our station in Sigourney, IA. BP Products North America Inc. makes every effort to ensure that our dispensers and pumps have labels that clearly and visibly reflect their contents.

While BP and many other companies used green handles for diesel fuel in the past, there was never an “industry standard”. As you know, BP has embarked upon a re-imaging program in the past few years and we believe that our multi-faceted changes in our brand image, including the pumps, contributes to our continuing as an industry leader in customer satisfaction.

It is unfortunate that you had a bad customer experience as a result of some of our changes. BP, however, cannot be responsible for the human error or assumptions involved in this matter.”

After receiving this response from BP, Neil reached out to Action Line to request additional help to ideally get BP to see the potentially dangerous situation this could cause, let alone someone hauling a 5th wheel or driving a Class A motorhome. Action Line reached out to BP multiple times on Neil’s behalf—with no response to date.

This Action Line message serves as a notice to all members that the commonly known green diesel pump nozzles are in fact, as BP stated, an industry standard and the gas companies are not obligated to use green nozzles to represent diesel fuel. Please keep this in mind in your travels.


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  2. Anonymous

    We made the same mistake and our remedy is to never purchase from a BP station again!