The problem is that with more types of fuel than every (and more types of cars to burn them), differentiating fuel types is sometimes not as simple as pressing the right number button. Bio-diesel, bio-ethanol and others all use the same pump hardware as regular 87/89/93 octane pumps, leading a distracted or hurried customer to pump the wrong go-juice. This costly mistake has necessitated the creation of technology such as that found on the new European Ford Mondeo, which has a sealed filler cap that detects the type of fuel being pumped into it, and locks out those that are incompatible. Another idea is - and this is way out from left field - standardizing the aesthetics of the fuel pumps themselves, so that each nozzle, handle or pump is instantly recognizable as the fuel type it services.
Or, you could just READ the SIGNS. Gas stations aren't trying to trick you. For those of you that have made the mistake, I'm sorry for your loss, and thank you for not making the same mistake twice. For the rest of you, learn from those guys, because sometimes pumping the wrong fuel can lead to an entire engine replacement, and that's just not very green - it costs lots of green, too.
[Source: Motorpoint via Newspress]