Press Releases and Statements

Sensenbrenner Hears from Automakers: E15 Bad for Engines, American Consumers

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Washington, July 5, 2011 | Amanda Infield ((202) 225-5101) | comments

Congressman Sensenbrenner publicly released the responses from US automakers regarding the consequences of E15 on vehicle engines, fuel economy and warranties.

“Automaker responses overwhelmingly show that E15 will damage engines, void warranties, and reduce fuel efficiency,” Sensenbrenner said. “ Americans need a fuel that will give them more miles out of a gallon of gas and extend the lives of their cars—not one that will prematurely send their vehicles to the junkyard.” 

“The EPA is pursuing its own political agenda at the expense of American consumers. I have contacted EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson with these responses, and given the negligible environmental benefits, I await her defense of this unwise decision.”



The Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Energy and Environment Subcommittee hearing is Thursday 2-4pm “Hitting the Ethanol Blend Wall: Examining the Science on E15.

The complete letters are attached, as well as Congressman Sensenbrenner’s letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Below are highlights from each manufacturer:

Chrysler:  “We are not confident that our vehicles will not be damaged from the use of E15.  . . . The warranty information provided to our customers specifically notes that use of the blends beyond E10 will void the warranty.”

Ford:  “Ford does not support the introduction of E15 into the marketplace for the legacy fleet.  . . . Fuel not approved in the owner’s manual is considered misfueling and any damage resulting from misfueling is not covered by the warranty.”

Mercedes-Benz:  “Any ethanol blend above E10, including E15, will harm emission control systems in Mercedes-Benz engines, leading to significant problems.”

Honda:  “Vehicle engines were not designed or built to accommodate the higher concentrations of ethanol. . . . There appears to be the potential for engine failure.”

Mazda:  “The record fails to demonstrate that motor vehicles would not be damaged and result in failures when run on E15.”

Toyota:  “Toyota cannot recommend the use of fuel with greater than E10 for Toyota vehicles currently on the road . . .  .Our policy remains that we will not provide warranty coverage for issues arising from the misuse of fuels that exceed specified limits.”

Nissan:  “We are not at all confident that there will not be damage to MY 2001 and later vehicles that are fueled with E15.  In our view the record fails to demonstrate that motor vehicles  . . . would not be damaged and result in failures when run on E15.”

Volkswagen:  “Volkswagen agrees that the EPA did not conduct an adequate test program when E15 was considered and then approved for use in conventional vehicles. . . Our current warranty will not cover problems stemming from the use of E15.”

Volvo:  “The risks related to emissions are greater than the benefits in terms of CO2 when using low-blend E15 for variants that are designed to E10.”

BMW:  “BMW Group engines and fuel supply systems can be damaged by misfueling with E15.  . . . Damage appears in the form of very rapid corrosion of fuel pump parts, rapid formation of sludge in the oil pan, plugged filters, and other damage that is very costly to the vehicle owner.” 

Hyundai:  “The EPA tests failed to conclusively show that the vehicles will not be subject to damage or increased wear.”

Kia: “EPA testing failed to determine that vehciles will not be subject to damage or increased wear.”

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