Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule to allow the year-round sale of gasoline blended with up to 15% ethanol (E15), taking advantage of a Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver currently applicable to E10 during the summer months.
During the rulemaking, NADA filed comments noting that while many newer light-duty vehicles are designed to use E15, most older gasoline vehicles are not. Fuel compatibility issues can lead to dealership service customers complaining of performance concerns after misfuelling their vehicles with fuels they weren’t designed for.
NADA’s comments stressed the need for adequate pump labeling, misfueling mitigation and consumer education. EPA responded by noting that the existing “prohibition on the use of E15 in older vehicles, nonroad vehicles, engines and equipment will remain in place, as well as the current misfueling mitigation requirements. We will continue to monitor the gasoline market and work with affected stakeholders to better understand the issues associated with E15 misfueling and whether we need to take further actions at a later time.” Bottom line: customers should be reminded to always select a gasoline with an ethanol content appropriate for their vehicle.