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AMA opposes bill that does not protect riders from unsafe fuel

AMA opposes bill that does not protect riders from unsafe fuel
Tell the state legislators that you oppose!

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Missouri State Rep. Jay Houghton (R-43) have introduced H.B. 1102, a bill that would limit liability for refiners, suppliers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, or other vendors that sell fuel that contains ethanol, biodiesel or other renewable fuels.

The American Motorcyclist Association opposes this bill because none of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicle currently in operation is approved for E15 (a fuel blend that contains up to 15 percent ethanol) and yet inadvertent misfueling is a real possibility due to confusing labeling and the use of blender pumps.

H.B. 1102 would limit the ability of consumers – riders like you -- to seek damages from refiners, suppliers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, or other vendors that sell ethanol, biodiesel or other renewable fuels in the event the fuel causes damage to an engine.

In many instances, blender pumps – which dispense fuel with concentrations of both 10 percent and 15 percent ethanol – have no physical barriers to protect consumers from using the wrong fuel. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Misfueling Mitigation Plan requires only a label and signage directing consumers to E10 or E0 fuel.

Inadvertent misfueling with E15 may even void your manufacturer’s warranty.

The AMA believes that legal recourse should be available to those who experience engine damage as a result of using E15. By attempting to remove liability from companies and place the burden on individual consumers, this bill removes incentives for companies to protect against inadvertent misfueling.

H.B. 1102 is a result of Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.) instituting a policy to allow -- but not require -- gasoline stations to sell E15 fuel. He did this through an administrative decree and E15 became available in Missouri as of May 30, 2014.

This administrative decree by Gov. Nixon was unprecedented because when Missouri allowed E10 into the marketplace, it was because the legislature passed a law.

Since 2011, the American Motorcyclist Association has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about possible damage to motorcycle and ATV engines and fuel systems caused by the inadvertent use of E15 fuel. Preventing inadvertent misfuelings has been one of the AMA’s main concerns because motorcycles and ATVs on the road and trail today are not designed to run on ethanol blends higher than 10 percent, and many older machines favored by vintage enthusiasts have problems with any ethanol in the fuel.

Access to safe fuels for motorcycles remains an AMA priority, and we continue to be a watchdog for not only our members, but all motorcyclists, on this issue.

Thousands of riders like you join the AMA to unite for a common goal – to protect our freedom to ride. As an AMA member, you will stand with hundreds of thousands of advocates nationwide fighting anti-motorcycling forces that threaten our right to ride and race. That’s why the AMA is where you belong. Visit www.AMAJoin.com or call (800) AMA-JOIN today. Please follow the AMA on Twitter @AMA_Rights and like us on Facebook.

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