The American Automobile Association (AAA) is warning motorists with older vehicles that using gasoline with a high ethanol content could damage their engines, and wants sales of the blend stopped.
The Environmental Protection Agency gave permission for the sale of E15, a gas blend containing 15% ethanol, in 2011. While the blend is approved for vehicles manufactured after 2000, auto-makers fought the approval fearing that the higher ethanol content would cause engine damage, Reuters noted.
According to the AAA, only 5% of light duty automobiles currently operating in the U.S. have received manufacturer approval to use E15. The standard blend of gasoline — known as E10 — permits just 10% ethanol content in gasoline.
A number of auto-makers have announced that they will not cover engine damage caused by E15 use under their vehicle warranties, including Nissan (PINK:NSANY), Toyota (NYSE:TM), Fiat‘s (PINK:FIATY) Chrysler and Volkswagen (PINK:VLKAY)
Roughly 10% of U.S. gas stations currently sell E15. The AAA wants the government to halt its use before it becomes more widespread.
Increasing the ethanol content in gasoline blends was intended to help fuel producers meet federal ethanol use targets, which require ethanol use to grow from 13.2 billion gallons annually, to 15 billion gallons in three years.