US automakers and engine makers sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday over its decision to allow higher blends of ethanol for newer cars, saying it could cause confusion at the pumps and damage engines in older vehicles.
The suit asks the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to send the decision back to the EPA and also asks the court to review whether the decision violates the Clean Air Act.
The EPA decided in October to allow cars built in 2007 or later to burn gasoline containing 15% ethanol, or E15. Current legal levels are 10%.
The EPA may decide as soon as January to allow E15 for cars built in 2001 and later.
Growth Energy, an ethanol industry group, had asked the EPA for a waiver for the sale of the fuel because the business faces a glut of the alternative motor fuel.
But a new coalition that filed the suit, called the Engine Products Group, said the EPA's decision to allow higher blends for some cars could confuse consumers. Engines in some vehicles, boats, lawnmowers and chain saws could be damaged, if they get the wrong fuel, they said.
The coalition includes the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and others who say they collectively represent some 400 mn engine products used by Americans.
They say higher ethanol blends can corrode fuel lines and other parts in engines that have not been adjusted.