AAA Pressures EPA Not to Sell New E-15 Fuel – Numerous Engine & Warranty Issues Raised
Automotive experts and Triple A have been hammering the EPA and Congress NOT to release new E-15 fuel for consumer use. Now AAA is applying even more pressure.
Many consumers have never heard of E-15, but it’s the latest blend of fuel containing ethanol made from corn. The fuel is designed to “replace” the E-10 and E-85 that are used in many vehicles. E-15’s ethanol level, however, would exceed the 10 percent fuel content drivers are used to. Why is AAA so against it? Extensive testing of the fuel has found it creates numerous technical and operational issues for vehicles.
From the AAA newsroom dated Feb 26:
AAA’s automotive engineering experts believe that sustained use of E15 could result in costly problems such as accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel-system damage and false “check engine” lights in some cars. An overwhelming 95 percent of consumers surveyed by AAA were not familiar with E15, indicating a strong likelihood of consumer confusion leading to misfueling.
Most vehicles that use ethanol are designed around E-10 or E-85. You’ve probably seen vehicles on the road with the “E-85″ logo on the back. But E-15 is a whole different blend and could result in consumers having uncovered repairs on their hands.
A AAA survey last fall found that only 12 million out of the 240 million light-duty vehicles on the roads today are approved by manufacturers to use E15. Five manufacturers stated their warranties would not cover fuel-related claims caused by E15, and eight additional manufacturers stated that E15 did not comply with fuel requirements in owners’ manuals and may void warranty coverage.
AAA officials testified before Congress recently, and while they are supportive of ethanol-based fuels, they say considerable testing and refinement needs to be made before E-15 should be sold to the public. They also say the government needs to extensively educate consumers about the difference between this radically new fuel and the ethanol blends we’re currently putting in our vehicles.