Pete Bigelow, Jan. 10- Thanks to the fiscal cliff bill signed into law last week, a blend of fuel that contains more ethanol could soon reach more consumers than ever. That's bad news, AAA tells car owners.
The nation's largest motor club says use of the fuel blend, E15, could void car warranties on most cars. More corrosive than traditional gasoline, some studies show E15 may accelerate wear and tear on engines and components.
Federal agencies are pushing E15 as one component of a broader energy policy that promotes alternative fuels as a way to wean the country away from its reliance on foreign oil. The fiscal cliff bills extends a tax credit that makes it easier for gas stations to install E15 pumps and storage tanks. Experts say they think this will accelerate the arrival of E15 across the nation.
“Our concern is when you look through some of the research out there, you say, 'Boy, if this is half right, we should really be concerned,' ” said John Nielsen, AAA's director of automotive engineering and repair.
Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and BMW have all stated their warranties do not cover damages related to use of E15. Eight other automakers tell AAA they may cancel warranty coverage, depending on what needs to be repaired.