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A waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows up to 15 percent ethanol in gasoline, up from the earlier permissible 10 percent. The new E15 fuel is available for 2001 or later models. The waiver allows the sale of E15, but does not require it.
There is some talk that legislation stemming from the fiscal cliff bill might increase the use of E15, which has resulted in controversy. While ethanol advocates tout the benefits of the corn-based renewable fuel (less dependency on foreign oil, reduction in greenhouse gases), others like the American Automobile Association (AAA) are warning that E15 can damage your car. AAA says that a number of car companies (BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and VW) will not cover damage claims caused by E15 while Ford, Honda, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have said E15 use will void warranties.
The AAA asked the EPA in November to suspend sales of E15, which is a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline until more tests on its use are conducted and consumers have more awareness about the different blends.
EPA says E15 will not harm newer vehicles
EPA chief Lisa Jackson has said that testing has shown that E15 does not harm newer vehicles. E15 is not allowed in older vehicles, motorcycles, boats, small engines and heavy duty equipment.
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