Survey: 95 Percent of Americans Have Never Heard of E15 Gasoline; Can Create Confusion, Void Vehicle Warranties

By Trevor Dorchies | December 04, 2012
You may not know it, but E15 gasoline is now approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for distribution at your neighborhood gas station. So, what is E15 ? According to a recent survey by the American Automobile Association, 95 percent of consumers have no idea what it is, let alone what it does to vehicles that can't burn it efficiently. In case you aren't familiar, E15 is a new blend of gasoline that contains up to 15 percent ethanol. Less than five percent of all vehicles on the road in the United States today are approved to run ethanol. Using ethanol in vehicles that aren't designed to burn it efficiently can result in engines wearing out and failing faster, damage to the fuel system, and check engine lights illuminating. AAA is asking regulators to halt the sale of E15 gasoline until further research can be conducted in order to prevent more consumer confusion than what's already out there. "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," said AAA President & CEO Robert Darbelnet in a statement released the association. "Bringing E15 to the market without adequate safeguards does not responsibly meet the needs of consumers."
Problems caused by using E15 in certain vehicles can also void the factory warranty. In total, five manufactures (BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen) have said that using E15 gasoline voids the factory warranty. Other manufactures including General Motors, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have claimed the use of E15 gasoline may void the factory warranty as it's not the recommended fuel of choice. The only vehicles that are permitted to use E15 gasoline and still be covered by a factory warranty include all flex-fuel vehicles, 2001 model year and newer Porsches, certain 2012 model year and newer GM vehicles , and select 2013 model year and newer Ford vehicles. It's highly advised that you avoid using E15 in heavy-duty vehicles, boats, motorcycles, power and lawn equipment, and off-road vehicles, as well. The survey conducted by AAA comprised of 1,012 adults, 504 of which were male and the other 508 were female. People 18 years and older who live in private homes in the lower 48 states were used in this survey. Source: AAA