Missouri Corn CEO Tells AAA Enough Is Enough

Posted on: May 23, 2014

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo)–Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) CEO Gary Marshall took AAA to task in a letter to the organization’s president and canceled his longtime membership following public statements misrepresenting the benefits of E15. Missouri’s newest fuel blend containing 15 percent ethanol, 85 percent gasoline was finalized for sale May 15.

In the letter, Marshall states:

Approximately 80 percent of the vehicles on the road today are 2001 or newer and approved by the EPA to use the ethanol blend. Add to that, more than 60 percent of 2014 vehicles sold this year will be explicitly warranted and approved by the manufacturer to operate on E15. In terms of possible engine damage, E15 is sold in 12 other states with no issues reported. We are unaware of AAA’s Roadside Assistance program picking up a single driver stranded alongside the road due to an engine issue caused by E15. 

If your organization is concerned about warranties, it should be noted E15 wasn’t approved by EPA when many vehicle owner’s manuals were written. Just like aftermarket fuel additives, such as stabilizers and octane boosters, specific fuels or additives are not always listed in a vehicle’s owner manual. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, use of these non-mentioned fuels and fuel additives does not necessarily void a vehicle warranty. In fact, vehicle manufacturers may not deny a warranty claim based on use of a different fuel if that fuel did not contribute to the problem for which the warranty claim is made.

Marshall ends the correspondence with a personal statement:  

On a personal note, I have been a member of AAA for 33 years. I refuse to support an organization so clearly aligned with the oil industry and am cancelling my AAA membership effective immediately. I will also be informing our members and supporters of my actions and the reasons for this decision.     

Visit www.mocorn.org to learn more about ethanol production and find answers to frequently asked E15 questions.  

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