SEMA Opposes EPA Expansion of E15 Waiver to MY 2001 and Newer Cars


Media Contact:
Della Domingo,
SEMA 909/978-6723

SEMA Opposes EPA Expansion of E15 Waiver to MY 2001 and Newer Cars

Washington, D.C. (January 21, 2011) - Several weeks ago, SEMA requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suspend its partial waiver to permit the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (E15) for model year 2007 and newer vehicles.   Instead, the EPA has taken another step in the wrong direction by expanding the waiver to include MY 2001-2006 vehicles.  The decision seems to conflict with President Obama’s Executive Order from earlier this week that requires government agencies to balance social and economic costs.

The EPA agrees with SEMA that older cars (pre-MY 2001) should not be fueled with E15.  The EPA reached its decision based over concern that ethanol’s corrosive qualities could harm the vehicle’s engine and other metal, plastic and rubber components.  The EPA has proposed that a warning label be posted on the gas pump to prevent misfueling.  SEMA opposes this solution as incomplete given the significant threat of damage that could arise from misfueling.  Even for newer vehicles, the label will cause confusion since most owner’s manuals instruct the motorist not to use ethanol blends higher than E10 and warranty coverage may be denied for damage caused by misfueling.

SEMA will continue to oppose E15 until there are conclusive scientific findings that demonstrate that it will not harm automobiles of any age as a result of corrosion or other chemical incompatibilities. SEMA represents thousands of companies that market products for these vehicles and, through its SEMA Action Network, millions of enthusiasts who buy and operate these automobiles.

Contact: Stuart Gosswein at or 202/783-6007, ext. 30

About SEMA
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $27.9 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,461 member-companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for the specialty auto parts industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, tel: 909/396-0289, or visit or