The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is warning of GMAX350, an alternative fuel system marketed by Gertken Enterprises, which is located in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. On their website (gmax350.net), the company claims people can “start using water for gas.” They have an F rating with the BBB due to a failure to provide requested substantiation of their advertising claims. When contacted by the BBB last year, the company owner declined to provide a response to the BBB’s inquiry.
“The types of savings claims the company makes sound attractive, especially right now with gas prices soaring,” says Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “However, money/fuel-saving claims of this nature all have one thing in common: they are all too good to be true.”
GMAX350 came to the attention of the BBB last summer after a consumer inquired about the claims made on the company’s website. The BBB discovered soon thereafter that the company was alleging people could “save the planet and make money from home,” ostensibly by selling kits for the company’s Hydrogen on Demand systems which supposedly – through the addition of hydrogen to fuel – increase automobile fuel efficiency and decrease harmful emissions.
The kinds of claims made by Gertken Enterprises were addressed in an article published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on their website in August of last year. The article warns consumers to be skeptical of claims that fuel economy will be improved by 20%, and notes that the EPA has tested more than 100 of these alleged fuel-saving devices and not found any that significantly improved gas mileage. It goes on to say that “some ‘gas-saving’ products may damage a car’s engine or substantially increase exhaust emissions.”
The BBB advises people to be on the lookout for these red flags when considering fuel-saving products or fuel additives:
- Federal Endorsements. While the EPA does evaluate the legitimacy of claims made by every company that produces supposed fuel-saving products, no federal agency endorses such products or additives.
- Glowing Consumer Testimonials. Marketing materials or websites for fuel “savers” or additives often contain consumer testimony on the increased fuel efficiency they experienced with the device or additive; however, these are often fictional accounts devised by the companies promoting these products.
- Results That Are “Too Good To Be True.” Consumers should always be wary of big savings promised by “cutting-edge” fuel-saving devices or additives. If a gas-saving product could increase mileage significantly with little effort or money, it is unlikely the inventor would need to peddle the product through spam emails or tacky-looking websites.
Consumers should also be aware that installing some aftermarket products may, in some cases, void their automobile’s warranty. Be sure to check your owner’s manual prior to having any work performed or installing such products yourself.
Anytime you come across an offer that sounds or seems too good to be true, contact the BBB (bbb.org or 800-646-6222) to avoid becoming a victim.
The mission of the Better Business Bureau is to be the leader in building marketplace trust by promoting, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, assist and protect the general public. We are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the BBB at bbb.org or 651-699-1111, toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.