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The AAA has asked the Environmental Protection Agency t... The AAA has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to halt sales of a new blend of gasoline. (Photo courtesy Flickr).
AAA has asked the EPA to stop sales of a new blend of gasoline, asserting that the fuel can cause damage to car engines and could void warranties.

The EPA has contended that cars manufactured from 2001 and on can handle E15, the new blend of gasoline made up of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent petroleum. But AAA warned that only about 12 million of the 240 million cars on the road today have actual approval from the manufacturers to use the fuel.

AAA recently conducted a survey and found that 95 percent of those polled had not heard of the new blend of fuel. The organization found this worrisome due to the fact that many manufacturer warranties do not cover wear and tear from the higher ethanol fuel blend. Using the fuel blend could lead to engine wear and failure, fuel-system damage and false "check engine" lights when used over a sustained period of time, according to AAA.

"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. Bringing E15 to the market without adequate safeguards does not responsibly meet the needs of consumers," AAA President and CEO Robert Darbelnet told USA Today.

Some groups, such as The Renewable Fuels Association, scrutinized AAA's warning, claiming that the group has been working in the interest of the oil companies.

"If AAA weren't so deep in the 'Big Oil' politics, they would stop manufacturing concern about the efficacy of ethanol blend use and report enthusiastically about ethanol's consumer gasoline price savings," Bob Dinneen, the association's CEO, said in a statement.

E15 has been pushed hard by biofuel groups in the recent past, mainly because the industry needs to hit aggressive blending targets as outlined by the renewable fuel standards.

Vehicles that permit the use of E15 include General Motors vehicles model years 2012 and newer and 2013 model-year Ford vehicles.

However, GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel said the automaker agrees with the AAA warning, according to The Hill. Basel said that the EPA was being "irresponsible" by permitting the use of E15 without undergoing comprehensive testing of the fuel's effects on vehicles.

BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen do not cover damage from E15 under their warranties and Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have said E15 damage may void warranties, according to AAA.


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  • 117 Comments
      ddstan1120
      • 2 Years Ago
      One of the very worst ideas ever foisted off on the people that buy and use gasoline. Slow and sure death for small engine carbs, and a lot of older cars and trucks. Too expensive to make, cannot be piped, but must be hauled by trucks to refineries to be blended, increased food prices, and the list goes on and on. This stuff should be outlawed by the EPA, period.
      • 2 Years Ago
      For more than 70 years, lead free gasoline could be used in Coleman camp stoves and lanterns without fouling the generators and without causing excessive soot deposits. Then ethanol was introduced to gasoline supplies and now these same stoves and lanterns work far less efficiently with significant fouling of the generators and needle valves. The gasoline industry never warned users that the ethanol in their gasoline could cause damage and failure of these kinds of camping gear. And the EPA (or other government agencies) didn't either. Can't be good for your fuel injectors. I haven't had problems with my chain saw or lawn mower yet but I guess I should be cautious and try to take preventative measures. Everyone needs to know that 10% ethanol is not good for camp stoves and lanterns. The alternative, Coleman fuel, is about three times more expensive. It contains no ethanol. Think about it, 10% of every gallon of gas that you pump into your car isn't gasoline at all. And now the mixture is going to 15%? Keep tabs on how your senators and representatives respond. The next election is less than two years away.
      freeetob
      • 2 Years Ago
      Owner of a top rated garage in our area did a piece on fuel a few months ago. Noted that most car manufacturers base mileage on "top tier" gas (not premium unless stated ) but brands such as Shell, Mobil, etc. vis a vis RaceTrak, Hess, etc. That's because these top tiers, even with ethanol, give better mileage but, most importantly, protect the car's engine from wear that can cost owners dearly for repair and replacement. I took the advice and stopped buying cheap at Hess, Costco (the worst) and yep.I got a couple of miles better and no more engine ping.
      porsha993
      • 2 Years Ago
      And if Bob Dinneen wasn't so deep in the pocket of the Renewable Fuels Association, the ethanol industry and farm subsidies programs, he wouldn't criticize AAA for warning consumers about very expensive engine damage from using E15.
      cwcwel
      • 2 Years Ago
      Correction the gas dragsters use 120 octane lead based gasoline. The same that I use in road race Vette.
      nohopefortheleft
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ethanol blows.
      rbowaldo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Question is who is really telling the truth. It would be nice to know. Is the RFA sure it won't hurt 2000 and older cars. Is the AAA really making a mountain out of a mole hill? Who's telling the truth?
        porsha993
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rbowaldo
        I believe AAA (I am not a member). The owner's manual for my '95 and '99 both had very clear warnings about using ethanol blend fuels. That was long before the huge taxpayer subsidies for farmers growing corn for ethanol and before the taxpayer subsidies to the ethanol industry so I doubt it was influenced by "big oil".
        hony53
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rbowaldo
        Not the EPA, that's for sure. Another out-of-control federal bureaucracy.
      ExArmy Medic
      • 2 Years Ago
      Folk's it's a proven fact the Ethanol decreases both fuelage mileage and causes a early death to the various gasoline motors. Here is just a short list of the engines that die a early death because the Ethanol breaks down the various enigine componet's. Lawnmowers, Weedeater's, Chainsaw's, Outboard Motor's, Snow Blower's, and older car's The Ethanol breaks down sorta like a acid would material's like the plastic's, rubber gasket's , and fuel line's. It is a provern hazard to these material's. It has been proven time and time again that Ethanol decrease's fuel mileage so why in the He** does the EPA promote a engine killer that void's engine warranties. And yes the Ethanol fuel folks only agenda is to get more Ethanol out here so they pocket more money while knowing that problem's that exist.
        hony53
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ExArmy Medic
        The EPA and the government, in general, doesn't give a shirt about the cost of anything.
      sonny
      • 2 Years Ago
      Without subsidies and with reduced efficencies and all the extra costs to produce, and the higher food costs due to diversion of corn is it really a savings? It could slightly reduce our dependence on OPEC but at what cost? Now you want to make special vehicles to use it? What utter nonsense. It really just adds to government cost and thats enough to get rid of it.
      cwcwel
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you do not like Carbon Dioxide build up in the atmosphere, t
        badugly90
        • 2 Years Ago
        @cwcwel
        stop breathing.,naw. still you get carbon dioxide people need the corn. do you know ethanol comes first then the market place. also it eats the gaskets in the car and ruins the fuel pump it dries them out. engines need the octane they replaced the lead in gas ..climate change happened before it gets hot and then freezing takes a long time earth has done it before. it causes the oceans currents to flip and cool off
      pharos24
      • 2 Years Ago
      Anybody with any brains can figure out what's going on here. These people don't give a damn about cleaner air. Some big chemical company who makes ethanol, and stands to make a fortune on this deal, lobbied for this, and "greased a few choice palms" down at EPA, not to mention a few nice campaign contributions. But then, isn't that obvious. What really makes me sick is idiots who look at you like you've committed blasphemy if you say this.
      joper201
      • 2 Years Ago
      Did you know Brazill can distill ethanol, ship it to America sell it to us cheaper than America can distill it. Anerica uses corn which is a foode product. Brazil has thousabd upob thousans of acres of sugar cane dedicated to the production of ethanol. To protect the corn farmers there's a tariff on imported ethanol. E15 will require more corn and further drive up the cost of food stuffs. If Corn was removed from the energy stream and put back in the food stream there would be an immediate drastic drop in food prices which affects all of us. Another example of politicians, democrat and Republican, protecting their major donors instead of their constituents.
        dreadcthulhu01
        • 2 Years Ago
        @joper201
        First of all, the 54 cent per gallon tariff on imported ethanol expired at the beginning of this year. So that argument is moot. Secondly, for several years now, Brazil has been importing more ethanol from the US than they export; they can't produce enough to meet their own demand, much less the US demand. Remember that the US produced more than twice as much ethanol than Brazil does. What is truly insane though, is the "advanced bio-fuel" blending requirements that require small amounts of non-corn ethanol (either cellulosic or sugar cane derived) to blended into US fuel, and since cellulosic ethanol isn't yet produced in commercial quantities, there are ships that bring up Brazilian sugar-cane ethanol to the US at the same time ships are loading up with American ethanol to bring to Brazil. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5564f822-8252-11e1-9242-00144feab49a.html#axzz2Dnr4Wlfe
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