From AAIA Capital Report
The American Automobile Association (AAA) issued a press release on Nov. 30 stating that 95 percent of consumers surveyed had not heard of E15, and only 5 percent of vehicles on the road have been approved for E15 use. The recent survey undertaken by AAA has pointed to the strong likelihood of consumer confusion, vehicle damage and voided warranties as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval of the E15 blend of ethanol. AAA further called on regulators and the industry to stop the sale of E15 until motorists are better protected.
“It is clear that millions of Americans are unfamiliar with E15, which means there is a strong possibility that many motorists may improperly fill up using this gasoline and damage their vehicle,” said Robert Darbelnet, AAA president and CEO. “Bringing E15 to the market without adequate safeguards does not responsibly meet the needs of consumers.”
BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen have publicly stated that their warranties will not cover fuel-related claims caused by the use of E15. GM, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have also stated that the use of E15 does not meet the fuel requirements in their owner’s manuals and may void warranty coverage.
While an oil industry study found conclusive damage to two popular vehicle engines, the EPA and the Department of Energy tested 2001-and-newer vehicles and found no damage associated with the use of E15. Other industry groups have filed lawsuits against the EPA approval of E15. The use of E15 is strongly defended by the Renewable Fuels Association.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) had previously introduced H.R. 3199, which would require a comprehensive assessment of the scientific and technical research on the implications of fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol. The bill passed the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology by a vote of 19-7. Sensenbrenner issued his own release on Nov. 30 that stated, “I introduced legislation to do exactly what AAA recommends. My legislation would require the EPA to task the National Academies of Science with conducting an unbiased study of E15.”