The motor club is urging the federal EPA to stop allowing the 15% ethanol blend to be pumped, claiming it could damage millions of engines.
Rose White, spokeswoman for AAA-Nebraska, says consumers don’t realize how harmful the fuel may be.
“Five manufacturers are on record saying their warranties will not cover fuel-related claims caused by the use of E15,” White says. “Seven additional automakers have stated that the use of E15 may void warranty coverage.”
Only certain vehicles are made to use the fuel. Of some 240-millon vehicles on the road, roughly 12-million are considered “flex fuel” capable. Ethanol supporters say E15 is safe for virtually all post-2001 vehicles, based on extensive government-sponsored testing.
White says consumers need to be absolutely certain what type of fuel their vehicle can take.
“To help prevent any problems, we’re urging consumers to carefully read the fuel pump labels and know your auto manufacturer’s fuel recommendations before using any type of new fuel blend,” White says. “Fuel recommenations are listed in in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.”
Nebraska is the nation’s number-two ethanol producer, behind only Iowa. About 95% of the gasoline sold in the US is up to 10% ethanol. The E15 fuel contains 5% more ethanol.
After winning EPA approval several months ago, White says E15 is still only sold in three Midwestern states.
“The new E15 fuel was just released on the market and there are stations located in Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska,” White says. “There are 10 stations currently selling it but that number is expected to grow.”
Eight of those stations are in Kansas, with one each in Iowa and Nebraska. The lone Nebraska station is in Lexington.