The AAA asked the U.S. government to prohibit the sale of E15. Only about 5 percent of the 240 million light duty vehicles on U.S. roads today are approved by manufacturers to run on the gasoline that contains 15 percent alcohol, and the other 95 percent could be ruined by the wicked fuel, says the AAA. The industry agrees.
The EPA approved E15 in 2011 for cars and light trucks made since model year 2000, triggering protests from auto-makers, service station owners and oil refiners who fear it may damage older engines. Their biggest fear: Legal action from motorists.
“AAA is urging regulators and the industry to stop the sale of E15 until motorists are better protected,” AAA said in a statement. “Unsuspecting consumers using E15 could end up with engine problems that might not be covered by their vehicles’ warranties.”
According to the AAA, BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen have said that their warranties will not cover fuel-related claims caused by the use of E15.
The federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), requires the use of 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol in fuel this year, rising to 15 billion gallons annually from 2015.
Governors of four poultry-raising states this year asked EPA for relief from the mandate, saying the corn crop is too small to use 40 percent of it making biofuels.
In Germany, a widespread buyer strike stopped E10, containing only 10 percent ethanol, in its tracks. The movement has its own Facebook page and broad support from the media.