AAA Survey: New E15 fuel could damage cars - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Survey: New E15 gas could damage cars

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TAMPA (WTOC) -

Consumers know little about a new type of gasoline E15 and the potential for voided warranties and car damage that can result from its usage, according to a AAA survey.

Consumers don't' know enough about E15 gasoline, which was approved in June by the Environmental Protection Agency, the survey determined.

The fuel contains up to 15 percent ethanol and less than 5 percent of cars on the road are approved by automakers to use E15.

The survey data show that only about 12 million out of more than 240 million light-duty vehicles are approved by manufacturers to use E15 gasoline.

fuel system components. At least  ten gas stations currently sell E15 and that number is expected to grow, which means now is the time to suspend sales before more retailers begin offering the fuel.

Automotive engineering experts say vehicles not approved by manufacturers to use E15 can run into these problems: accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel-system damage and false check engine lights going off, according to AAA.

BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen say their warranties will not cover fuel-related claims caused by E15, according to AAA.

Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have stated that E15 does not comply with the fuel requirements listed in owner's manuals and may void the warranty, according to AAA.

E15 is prohibited in heavy-duty vehicles, boats, motorcycles, power equipment, lawn mowers and off-road vehicles, according to the agency.

AAA is urging suspending sales of E15 until efforts can be made to better educate consumers about the fuel.

EPA approved the use of E15 gasoline for:

  • Flex-fuel vehicles
  • 2001 model year and newer cars
  • Light-duty trucks
  • Medium-duty passenger vehicles and SUVs

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