Indiana bill would extend misfueling immunity to mid-level blends

By Erin Voegele | February 04, 2016

In mid-January, a congressman in the Indiana General Assembly introduced a bill that aims to increase use of ethanol-blended fuels by expanding immunity for the misuse of blended fuel.

The legislation, H.B. 1364, was introduced by Indiana Rep. Don Lehe on Jan. 12 and referred to the Committee on Judiciary. Reps. Beumer and Niezgodski later signed on to co-sponsor the measure.

The text of the bill includes several provisions that aim to promote the use of ethanol. This includes removing the definitions of “E85” motor fuel and “flexible fuel vehicle” and creating a definition for “blended fuel” that states blended fuel refers to a fuel that contains not more than 85 percent ethanol and not less than 10 percent ethanol. Immunity protections currently in place for the misuse of E85 would be replaced with immunity protections for the misuse of the newly defined blended fuel.

According to the text of the measure, qualified persons or entities would be immune from civil liability for personal injury or property damage resulting from a person fueling any vehicle or engine with a blended fuel that is incompatible with the vehicle or engine so long as that qualified person or entity displays all the blended fuel warning signs required by federal or state law and the person’s injury or property damage isn’t a direct result of the gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct of the qualified person or entity. For purposes of the section of the legislation related to immunity, a blended fuel is considered to be incompatible with a vehicle or engine if the blended fuel is considered to be incompatible with the vehicle or engine according to the warranty of the manufacturer of the vehicle or engine.  

Additional information on the bill is available on the Indiana General Assembly website.