It isn’t clear what effect E15 will have on cars and in AAA president Robert Darbelnet’s mind, that’s enough to justify halting sales.
Darbelnet told Congress on Tuesday that the government hasn’t proerly warned drivers about potential damage to their vehicles.
“The sale of E15 at this point in time is irresponsible,” he said. In a testimony before the House Science Environment Subcommittee, he said sales should be stopped until additional testing allows for a consensus between ethanol producers and automakers about which vehicles can safely use E15.
Last year in May, a study suggested that E15 could damage older engines. That’s a concern shared by motorcyclists and people who use recreational vehicles like ATVs
“Residual fuel left in a fueling hose could be detrimental to the performance of motorcycle or ATV engines due to the small size of their fuel tanks,” American Motorcycle Association lobbyist and former senator Wayne Allard said to lawmakers. “The use of E15 will lower fuel efficiency and possibly cause premature failure. In off-road engines, the effect can be dangerous for consumers.”
The Environmental Protection Agency approved E15 three years ago for vehicles built in 2001 or later.
“[AAA's] issue is not with ethanol,” Darbelnet stressed. “We see the benefits of reduced dependency on fossil fuel (and) additional options for consumers.”