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Gas stations are using higher diesel fuel prices to keep gasoline prices from going higher, according to research by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA).

Retailers are using higher diesel fuel prices to hold down gasoline prices in order to avoid a consumer outcry, the MEMA believes. This pattern may hold as long as crude oil prices remain high.

Diesel fuel prices now are 4.5% above what the MEMA calls the “equity price” between diesel and gas.

However, higher diesel fuel prices will lead to higher prices for food and other items delivered by diesel fuel-burning trucks, the MEMA believes.

Already, several trucking firms report they are on the verge of bankruptcy due to higher diesel fuel costs, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Diesel fuel now costs around $1.70 a gallon in the Chicago area, the newspaper added.

Diesel engine Class A motorhomes have also become popular during the last few years and diesel units accounted for 37% of the Class A’s retailed during the first half of this year, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.

There were 7,840 diesel Class A’s retailed during the first half of this year, Statistical Surveys reported.