Posts Tagged ‘Ford’

Heather HunterHundreds of high school students across America compete for the opportunity to represent their state in the 65th Annual Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Challenge

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 1, 2014) – Innovation and ingenuity will be on display at locations across the country this spring as the brightest young automotive minds from coast-to-coast will gather to compete for millions of dollars in scholarships in the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the prestigious event, as well as 30 years AAA has been involved in the Student Auto Skills competition; Ford Motor Company began its partnership with the competition 20 years ago.

The 2014 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Challenge State Hands-On competitions will commence Tuesday, April 15 in Birmingham, Ala. and continue across the country through May 15. Top teams from each state advance to the national finals at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. June 8 – 10. At the national finals, champions from each state will vie for millions of dollars in scholarships, automotive equipment and   a trip to the Wood Brothers Racing facility where the students and instructor will work on race cars and learn from top automotive engineers.

Below are the dates and locations of 2014 FORD AAA State Hands-On Competitions:

  • Birmingham, Ala. – Tuesday, April 15
  • Okmulgee, Okla.  – Thursday, April 17
  • Kansas City, Mo./Kan. – Thursday, April 17
  • Warren, Mich. – Wednesday, April 23
  • Milford, Neb. – Thursday, April 24
  • Indianapolis, Ind. – Friday, April 25
  • Atlanta, Ga. – Friday, April 25
  • Little Rock, Ark. – Friday, April 25
  • Anchorage, Alaska. – Friday, April 25
  • Baltimore, Md.  – Saturday, April 26
  • Honolulu, Hawaii – Saturday, April 26
  • Jackson, Miss. – Tuesday, April 29
  • Atco, N.J. – Wednesday, April 30
  • Charlotte, N.C./S.C. – Thursday, May 1
  • Cheyenne, Wyo. – Thursday, May, 1
  • Bridgeport, W.Va. – Thursday, May 1
  • Sandy, Utah – Thursday, May 1
  • Nashville, Tenn. – Thursday, May 1
  • Sioux Falls, S.D. – Thursday, May 1
  • Warwick, R.I.  – Thursday, May 1
  • Helena, Mont. – Thursday, May 1
  • Alexandria, La.  – Thursday, May 1
  • La Porte, Texas – Friday, May 2
  • West Fargo, N.D. – Friday, May 2
  • Richmond, Va. – Saturday, May 3
  • Epping, N.H./Maine/Vt. – Saturday, May 3
  • Albuquerque, N.M. – Saturday, May 3
  • Renton, Wash. – Tuesday, May 6
  • Mequon, Wis. – Wednesday, May 7
  • Bethlehem, Pa. – Wednesday, May 7
  • Chanhassen, Minn. – Wednesday, May 7
  • Independence, Ohio – Thursday, May 8
  • Norwood, Mass. – Thursday, May 8
  • Sparta, Ky. – Thursday, May 8
  • Gresham, Ore. – Friday, May 9
  • Lisle, Ill. – Friday, May 9
  • Nampa, Idaho – Friday, May 9
  • South Windsor, Conn. – Friday, May 9
  • Danville, Calif. – Friday, May 9
  • Pomona, Calif. – Friday, May 9
  • Avondale, Ariz. – Friday, May 9
  • Denver, Colo. – Saturday, May 10
  • Morrisville, N.Y. – Tuesday, May 13
  • Ankeny, Iowa – Tuesday, May 13
  • Dover, Del. – Tuesday, May 13
  • Sanford, Fla. – Wednesday, May 1
  • Sparks, Nev. – Thursday, May 15

At the State Hands-On Competition, teams will race against the clock to correctly diagnose and repair a deliberately “bugged” 2014 Ford Fiesta SE. A combination an online written exam and hands-on competition scores determine each state’s championship team that will compete in the national finals. For additional details on 2014 State Hands-On Competition locations and dates, visit AutoSkills.AAA.com.

The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition is open to 11th and 12th grade students in secondary schools and colleges across the country that offer courses in automotive technology. Teams competing in the State Hands-On Competitions represent the 10 teams that scored highest on a statewide online written exam, administered at the beginning of the competition in January.

The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition enables many of its participants to embark on promising careers in the automotive repair industry to help fuel the rising demand for well-trained technicians that can repair both computer and mechanical components in today’s advanced vehicles.  Both the national and the state-wide competitions are organized with the support of AAA and Ford personnel, local automotive instructors and the AAA Approved Auto Repair program, a free public service AAA performs to identify quality repair facilities throughout the country.

About Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills

Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills is a nationwide automotive technology competition that offers   millions of dollars in scholarships and prizes to high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers as automotive service technicians.  Approximately 13,000 students from across the U.S. compete for the chance to represent their school and state in the National Finals. The competition tests students’ automotive knowledge, workmanship and problem-solving abilities. For additional information on the competition, visit http://autoskills.aaa.com/.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 181,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit corporate.ford.com.

About AAA

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Michael Green

(WASHINGTON, November 15, 2013) “The EPA’s proposal to decrease ethanol requirements will help drivers by preventing a surge in gas prices or the premature expansion of E15 gasoline sales. While we would like to increase the use of alternative fuels, it is a plain fact that the Renewable Fuels Standard’s original targets are unreachable without putting motorists and their vehicles at risk.

“The EPA has finally put consumers first. Their proposal will support the continued development of alternative fuels, while also recognizing the needs of the millions of people that drive every day. Today’s proposal is an important step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough. Suggesting a range for 2014 targets does not guarantee that motorists will be protected from the risk of higher ethanol blends. We encourage the EPA to act quickly to finalize specific targets that help protect drivers nationwide.

“The vast majority of cars on the roads today are not designed to run on gasoline containing more than 10 percent ethanol. While ethanol has the potential to support the economy and reduce the reliance on fossil fuels, it is irresponsible to mandate more ethanol than cars can safely use.”

More than 90 percent of the vehicles on the road today are not approved by manufacturers to use E15, including most 2001-2013 models. E15 is only approved for use by automakers in flex-fuel engines, 2001 and newer Porsches, and selected 2012 and newer vehicles where it is clearly specified in the owner’s manual. While new models increasingly can use E15 gasoline, previous makes and models were never designed to use the fuel. It will still take at least another decade before the bulk of the fleet will be E15 compatible given that the average vehicle remains in use for more than 11 years.

 

Michael Green Contact TileBob Darbelnet Will Testify Regarding E15 Gasoline to Congressional Subcommittee

Additional Resources

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 23, 2013) – AAA President & CEO Bob Darbelnet will testify today to a Congressional subcommittee that the EPA should consider whether target volumes to the Renewable Fuels Standard can be met without putting consumers at risk.

“I would urge Congress to keep American consumers front of mind when reviewing the RFS requirements for 2014,” continued Darbelnet.  “If the only way to meet the RFS requirement is to introduce E15 gasoline before consumers are educated and consensus is reached on which vehicles can safely use the fuel, then the RFS should be modified.”

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power is conducting the hearing to examine the Renewable Fuels Standard, a program created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to establish a renewable fuel volume mandate. AAA has urged regulators and the industry to stop the sale of E15 gasoline until motorists are better protected due to the strong likelihood of consumer confusion and the potential for voided warranties and vehicle damage.

“The number of states where E15 is sold has doubled in recent months despite continuing evidence that drivers are not aware of the fuel and could be unknowingly putting their cars in jeopardy,” continued Darbelnet. “AAA is not opposed to either ethanol or the RFS, but we remain very concerned with the way that E15 has been brought to market and is being sold to consumers.”

The subcommittee hearing is scheduled for July 23 at 10:00 AM in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.

AAA believes that ethanol-blended fuels have the potential to provide motorists a clear choice at the pump that supports jobs, promotes energy independence and reduces fuel costs.  Both E10 and E85 provide options for consumers at this point, and AAA would support a motorists’ right to choose E15 once basic thresholds have been met regarding consumer protections. More than 95 percent of the gasoline sold in the United States is E10, which contains up to 10 percent ethanol. E85, which contains up to 85 percent ethanol, is designed for use by flex-fuel vehicles.

A AAA survey last fall found that only 12 million out of the 240 million light-duty vehicles on the roads were approved by manufacturers to use E15. Thirteen manufacturers stated that the use of E15 may void warranty coverage. AAA’s automotive engineering experts believe that sustained use of E15 could result in costly problems such as accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel-system damage and false “check engine” lights in some cars. An overwhelming 95 percent of consumers surveyed by AAA were not familiar with E15, indicating a strong likelihood of consumer confusion leading to misfueling.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Michael Green Contact Tile(WASHINGTON, July 16, 2013) AAA’s Chris Plaushin (director, federal relations) is testifying before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today during a hearing “to explore the effects of ongoing changes in domestic oil production, refining and distribution on U.S. gasoline and fuel prices.” Chris Plaushin’s testimony is available here.

Ginnie PritchettNation’s largest motor club recognizes best in service with annual award  

ORLANDO, Fla., (June 26, 2013) – AAA honored four roadside assistance companies with the 2013 AAA/CAA Service Providers of Excellence gold-level award during its annual Automotive Conference in San Diego. These award-winning businesses were selected by a panel of AAA/CAA club executives and judged on service excellence, innovative business practices, and community involvement.  They are:

  • Elite Auto Services LLC – Pataskala, OH; AAA Ohio Auto Club
  • Guilford Texaco Inc. – Guilford, CT; AAA Southern New England
  • Wind-n-Sea Towing – San Diego, CA; Automobile Club of Southern California
  • Remorquage Asselin & Dion Inc. – Sherbrooke, Québec; CAA Québec

“This group is committed to the everyday rescue efforts put forth 29 million times annually on behalf of stranded AAA and CAA motorists and we are pleased to honor them with this award,” said AAA Roadside Programs and Benefits Director Doug McLendon. “Since this job carries with it inherent dangers, AAA reminds all motorists to give roadside responders room to work. Slow down and or move over when you encounter flashing lights at the roadside so these highway heroes can perform their job safely.”

The gold-level winners were chosen from 320 road service companies nominated by AAA and CAA clubs in North America. Gold-level winners were honored during the June AAA Automotive conference, and will be commemorated in the AAA display at the International Towing & Recovery Museum and Hall of Fame in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Sponsors of the event include AAA business partners and Preferred Suppliers who provide an expansive list of benefits and discounts to AAA affiliates. Gold-level sponsors include  Club Assist, Lexus, and Santander/Sovereign Bank, with AW Direct being a silver-level sponsor. Bronze sponsors include Cintas, Ford, I Drive Safely, Knapheide, Midway Ford, Miller Industries, Mitchell 1, NAPA, SSCS Digital Dispatch, Sokolis Group fuel management, and Unifirst.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Ginnie Pritchett50 teams battled for national title and nearly $12 million in scholarships at 64th annual auto technology showdown that cultivates industry’s next generation of talent.

DEARBORN, Mich. (June 11, 2013) – America’s top young automotive minds were on display today in Dearborn, as two-student teams representing all 50 states engaged in a race against the clock – and one another – in an effort earn the title National Champion at the 64th annual Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals at Ford World Headquarters.

Additional Resources

When the dust settled, the duo of Logan Boyle and Cody Collins from Vale High School in Vale, Ore. claimed the crown of America’s top auto technicians, registering the day’s top score under the guidance of instructor Drew Barnes.

“From connected cars to alternative fuels, automotive technology is advancing at a faster pace than we have ever seen and tomorrow’s technicians need to be savvy, innovative and eager,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “The Ford/AAA Auto Skills competition develops future technicians who will ensure motorists will receive access to quality repair.”

With nearly $12 million dollars in scholarship prizes in the balance, state winners gathered today in Dearborn to solve “real world” automotive challenges – both digital and mechanical – in a timed competition that required a quick mind and steady hands as top auto students worked with wrenches and computers alike.   With automotive sales up across the board, and new and innovative technologies becoming a bigger part of the manufacturing process, the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition is shaping the next generation of auto technicians who will work on these vehicles.

“Ford is proud to play a role in developing the technicians of tomorrow,” said Steve DeAngelis, Ford’s Global Manager of Technical Support Operations. “It’s a challenging, ever-evolving industry out there and Ford is committed to providing the best, most comprehensive training possible and part of that is providing unique opportunities like our partnership with AAA on this exciting annual competition.  We share our congratulations with today’s winners and all the attendees – they worked hard to get here.”

Beginning with a shotgun start, the student competitors (all paired in two-person teams) raced to their vehicles to review a work order that challenged them to diagnose and repair a number of purposefully placed “bugs” ranging from digital to mechanical and electrical. Once the repairs were completed, it was a race to shut the hood, fire up the engine and steer the vehicle across the finish line – where a scrutinizing judging team awaited.

To earn the National Title, Vale High School earned a “perfect car” score by flawlessly repairing all the “bugs” without any demerits. Combined with the results of a written examination taken on June 10, their score allowed them to hoist the trophy as national champions.

The top-10 placing teams for the 2013 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals were:

State High School City Student Student Instructor
1 . Oregon Vale High School Vale Logan Boyle Cody Collins Drew Barnes
2. Virginia Fauquier High School Warrenton Samuel Eleazer Matthew Jacobs Harlan Freeman
3. Maryland Eastern Technical High School Essex Anthony Critcher Brik Wisniewski Eldridge Watts
4. Illinois Addison Trail High School Addison Roman Flores Ashten Reich Keith Santini
5. Hawaii Maui High School Kahului Mitchell Borge Lawrence Paet Shannon Rowe
6. Kentucky Lee County Area Technology Center Beattyville Bradley Creech Corey Lykins John Lucas
7. Oklahoma Eastern Oklahoma County Technology  Center Choctaw Nicholas Brown Ryan Jackson Jim Lafevers
8. Kansas Newton High School Newton Kenton Bliss Titus Minkevitch Robert Ziegler
9. Arizona Marana High School Tucson Evan Cloutier Kevin Reich Donald Zell
10. Connecticut Platt Technical High School Milford Giorgio Favia Michael Tracz Kirk Stankiewicz

In addition to scholarships, the National Champion Oregon team will enjoy an immersive, weeklong job shadow experience with 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne and his Wood Brothers Racing team, as they prepare the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion car for the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona Beach, Fla. – the famous site of Bayne’s spectacular win at age 20.

About Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills
The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills is a nationwide automotive technology competition that offers nearly $12 million in scholarships and prizes to high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers as automotive service technicians.  More than 13,000 students from across the U.S. compete for the chance to represent their school and state in the National Finals. The competition tests students’ automotive knowledge, workmanship and problem-solving abilities. For additional information on the competition, visit http://autoskills.aaa.com/.

 

Ginnie PritchettTop auto students from across the country compete in the 64th annual Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition for the national title and millions of dollars in scholarships

ORLANDO, Fla., (June 5, 2013) – One hundred of the nation’s best young automotive minds will converge on the Motor City to compete for the title of top high school technicians in the country at the 64th Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition National Finals June 9–11.  With jobs in the auto industry on the rise, up over 30 percent since last April according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills challenge serves as a springboard for students to launch their careers.

This year’s young auto champions will be crowned June 11 at Ford Motor Company’s World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. from a field that includes 48 male and two female students. The annual competition features top high school automotive technology students from all 50 states, with each state represented by a two-student team and their high school instructor. At the National Finals, the students will have their automotive skills and knowledge put to the test with a written exam and a timed event in which they race against the clock and each other to identify glitches and repair deliberately-installed “bugs” in identical 2013 Ford Explorer XLTs. The team with the best combined written and hands-on score will win the national championship.

The road to Dearborn began in January when nearly 13,000 high school juniors and seniors took an online exam testing their automotive technology knowledge, and will culminate with one team taking home the title of national champion. In addition to scholarships and prizes, this year’s national champions will earn a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain hands-on experience through a weeklong job shadow experience with auto racing royalty, Wood Brothers Racing’s legendary21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team and 2011 Daytona 500 Winner Trevor Bayne leading up to and during the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona Beach, Fla. this July. For these two auto student national champions and their instructor, this extraordinary job shadow experience extends from a high-tech performance garage in North Carolina to the world-famous Daytona International Speedway. It includes the following:

  • Immersion of the winning students into the Wood Brothers Racing team as these expert auto technicians prepare for one the biggest events on the Sprint Cup Series calendar – the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6
  • Serving as honorary pit crew members on the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion under the guidance of Crew Chief Donnie Wingo
  • Mentoring by No. 21 driver Trevor Bayne at both the Wood Brothers Racing shop in Harrisburg, North Carolina and also trackside at Daytona

“Each week, me and the other drivers get all the attention on the track,” said Bayne, “But really, we couldn’t even get out there and run without our crew.  These guys I work with are the best in the business.  It’s pretty amazing what they do and how they work all week long to keep that No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane car in top condition for me.

“The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition is a great opportunity for thousands of students across the country who really love working on cars and want to get into the industry.  I’m pretty excited to see these National Champions because really, this will help them see they may be young but they can work on the world’s best cars themselves. And hey, who knows, I could end up seeing these students on our pit crew one day!”

Founded in 1950, Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team in NASCAR. The Wood Brothers have won 14 Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona International Speedway, more than any other team in the sport. The Wood Brothers’ most recent trip to victory lane came at the 2011 Daytona 500, when then 20-year-old  Bayne become the youngest driver ever to win NASCAR’s most prestigious race.

As cars continue to become more advanced, Ford is leading the way with new technologies such as all-electric vehicles, adaptive cruise control, collision warning with brake assist, hands-free entertainment and communication systems. Understanding the mechanics behind these technologies is essential to the future of the automotive industry, the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills challenge focuses on technological practices, while educating the next generation of technicians in traditional mechanical principles so they will be able to understand and on new vehicles.

Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills enables many of its participants to embark on promising careers in the automotive repair industry to help fuel the rising demand for well-trained technicians that can repair both computer and mechanical components in today’s advanced vehicles.  Both the national and the state-wide competitions are organized with the support of AAA and Ford personnel, local automotive instructors and the AAA Approved Auto Repair program, a public service AAA performs to identify quality repair facilities throughout the country. The competition awards nearly $12 million in scholarships to thousands of high school auto students each year, including the national title winners, allowing them to further their education in this rapidly changing industry.

About Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills

The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills is a nationwide automotive technology competition that offers nearly $12 million in scholarships and prizes to high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers as automotive service technicians.  More than 13,000 students from across the U.S. compete for the chance to represent their school and state in the National Finals. The competition tests students’ automotive knowledge, workmanship and problem-solving abilities. For additional information on the competition, visit http://autoskills.aaa.com/.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

Ginnie PritchettHigh school students across America compete for the opportunity to represent their state in the 64th Annual Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Challenge

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 2, 2013) – The nation’s best young automotive minds  from coast-to-coast are gearing up for the 2013 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Challenge State Hands-On competitions, which kick off Tuesday, April 16 with an event in Jackson, Miss.

Competitions continue across the country through May 14, with the top team from each state advancing to the national finals at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan June 9 – 11. At the national finals, champions from all 50 states will compete against one another for the right to call themselves the top young auto technicians in America and take home millions of dollars in scholarships.

Below are the dates and locations of all 50 2013 FORD AAA State Hands-On Competitions:

Jackson, Miss.  – Tuesday, April 16

Birmingham, Ala. – Tuesday, April 17

Lexington, Ky. – Wednesday, April 17

Alexandria, La. – Thursday, April 18

Sioux Falls, S.D. – Thursday, April 18

Sanford, Fla. – Friday, April 19

Pearl City, Hawaii – Saturday, April 20

Warren, Mich. – Wednesday, April 24

Warminster, Pa. – Wednesday, April 24

Milford, Neb. – Thursday, April 25

Okmulgee, Okla. – Thursday, April 25

Anchorage, Alaska – Friday, April 26

Little Rock, Ark. – Friday, April 26

Atlanta, Ga. – Friday, April 26

Indianapolis, Ind. – Friday, April 26

La Porte, Texas – Friday, April, 26

Baltimore, Md. – Saturday, April 27

Brooklyn Park, Minn. – Wednesday, May 1

Atco, N.J. – Wednesday, May 1

Bridgeport, W.Va. – Wednesday, May 1

Helena, Mont. – Thursday, May 2

Nashville, Tenn. – Thursday, May 2

Sandy, Utah – Thursday, May 2

Warwick, R.I. – Thursday, May 2

Cheyenne, Wyo. – Thursday, May 2

Glendale, Ariz. – Friday, May 3

Danville, Calif. – Friday, May 3

Pomona, Calif. – Friday, May 3

Nampa, Idaho – Friday, May 3

Charlotte, N.C./S.C. – Saturday, May 4

Albuquerque, N.M. – Saturday, May 4

Virginia Beach, Va. – Saturday, May 4

Renton, Wash. – Tuesday, May 7

Ankeny, Iowa – Tuesday, May 7

Dover, Del. – Wednesday, May 8

Norwood, Mass. – Wednesday, May 8

Mequon, Wis. – Wednesday, May 8

North Haven, Conn. – Thursday, May 9

Sparks, Nev. – Thursday, May 9

Fargo, N.D. – Thursday, May 9

Kansas City, Mo./Kan. – Thursday, May 9

Toledo, Ohio – Friday, May 10

Champaign, Ill. – Friday, May 10

Gresham, Ore. – Friday, May 10

Denver, Colo. – Saturday, May 11

Epping, N.H./Maine/Vt. – Saturday, May 11

Morrisville, N.Y. – Tuesday, May 14

At the State Hands-On Competition, teams will race against the clock to correctly diagnose and repair a deliberately “bugged” 2013 Ford Focus SE. A combination of the online written exam and hands-on competition scores determine each state’s championship team that will compete in the national finals. For additional details on 2013 State Hands-On Competition locations and dates, visit Autoskills.AAA.com.

The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition is open to 11th and 12th grade students in secondary schools and colleges across the country that offer courses in automotive technology. Schools may enter one two-student team per instructor. Teams competing in the State Hands-On Competitions represent the 10 teams that scored highest on a statewide online written exam, administered at the beginning of the competition in January.

The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition enables many of its participants to embark on promising careers in the automotive repair industry to help fuel the rising demand for well-trained technicians that can repair both computer and mechanical components in today’s advanced vehicles.  Both the national and the state-wide competitions are organized with the support of AAA and Ford personnel, local automotive instructors and the AAA Approved Auto Repair program, a free public service AAA performs to identify quality repair facilities throughout the country.

About Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills

The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills is a nationwide automotive technology competition that offers millions in scholarships and prizes to high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers as automotive service technicians.  More than 13,000 students from across the U.S. compete for the chance to represent their school and state in the National Finals. The competition tests students’ automotive knowledge, workmanship and problem-solving abilities. For additional information on the competition, visit http://autoskills.aaa.com/.

Michael Green Contact TileHearing to highlight need for consumer protections, education and additional research on E15

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 26, 2013) – AAA President & CEO Robert L. Darbelnet will testify today before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Environment that regulators and industry should suspend the sale of E15 gasoline until motorists are better protected. AAA will highlight the inadequate consumer protections and education efforts to date and will express support for additional testing by the National Academy of Sciences.

“Congress’ decision to examine potential problems associated with the sale of E15 is encouraging news for motorists,” said Darbelnet. “Most drivers are unaware of the potentially harmful effects of E15 and have not been properly educated about this new fuel entering the market.”

Additional Resources

  • Click here to listen to a AAA interview with Robert L. Darbelnet on E15

The hearing will examine the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent decision to allow the sale of E15, a blend of gasoline containing up to 15 percent ethanol. The subcommittee scheduled the hearing partly in response to AAA’s recent findings that E15 may cause consumer confusion, void warranties and contribute to vehicle damage.

“AAA is not opposed to ethanol, but we are against the way E15 has been introduced and sold to consumers,” continued Darbelnet. “We welcome the committee’s support today as AAA calls for additional impartial research and for regulators and industry to suspend the sale of E15 gasoline until motorists are properly educated and protected.”

The subcommittee hearing, “Mid-Level Ethanol Blends: Consumer and Technical Research Needs,” is scheduled for Feb. 26 at 2:00 PM EST in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.

A AAA survey last fall found that only 12 million out of the 240 million light-duty vehicles on the roads today are approved by manufacturers to use E15. Five manufacturers stated their warranties would not cover fuel-related claims caused by E15, and eight additional manufacturers stated that E15 did not comply with fuel requirements in owners’ manuals and may void warranty coverage.

AAA’s automotive engineering experts believe that sustained use of E15 could result in costly problems such as accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel-system damage and false “check engine” lights in some cars. An overwhelming 95 percent of consumers surveyed by AAA were not familiar with E15, indicating a strong likelihood of consumer confusion leading to misfueling.

Both E10 and E85 provide options for consumers at this point. Ethanol-blended fuels have the potential to support American jobs, promote American energy independence and save Americans money. More than 95 percent of the gasoline sold in the United States is E10, which contains up to 10 percent ethanol. E85, which contains up to 85 percent ethanol, is designed for use by flex-fuel vehicles.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Suspend Sale of E15 Gasoline

December 17th, 2012 by admin

By Robert L. Darbelnet, President and CEO of AAA

Published first in The Hill on Dec. 13, 2012

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and gasoline retailers should suspend the sale of E15 gasoline until more is done to protect consumers from the potential for costly auto damage and voided warranties.

Additional Resources

Research to date raises serious concerns that E15, a fuel blend consisting of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, could cause accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel system damage and other problems such as false “check engine” lights.

The potential damage could result in costly repairs for unsuspecting consumers. This is especially tough for most motorists given that only about 40 percent of Americans have enough in savings to afford a major auto repair.

In June, the EPA approved the use of E15, and a handful of gas stations in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas have begun to sell this fuel. There is a strong likelihood that retailers will market E15 in additional states soon unless regulators take immediate action to protect consumers.

Nearly all of the gasoline sold in the United States today is E10, which contains up to ten percent ethanol, primarily produced from corn. The ethanol industry has lobbied hard to increase the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline as a way to increase sales and help meet the Renewable Fuels Standard.

AAA’s concern with E15 is not about ethanol. In fact, AAA believes that ethanol-blended fuels have the potential to save Americans money and reduce the nation’s dependency on fossil fuels. The problem is that available research, including the EPA’s exhaust emissions tests, is not sufficient evidence that E15 is safe to use in most vehicles.

The ethanol industry’s response to reports of damage caused by E15 is that it is the most tested fuel in the EPA’s history.  The caveat to this assertion is that while the agency did test E15, their research focused primarily on exhaust emissions and associated components such as catalytic converters. While this research was consistent with the EPA’s mission, it never fully examined whether E15 might damage engines and fuel systems.

Some of those supporting E15 admit the fuel may cause damage. For example, the Renewable Fuels Association warned retailers that some underground storage tank systems, both new and used, exhibited reduced levels of safety and performance when exposed to E15. In addition, earlier this year the industry testified before Congress in support of legislation that proposed to give fuel producers blanket liability protections, while providing no protections to motorists. If the industry is not confident enough to take responsibility for the risks of E15, is it right that the risks be passed onto consumers?

Automakers advise they may void warranties for anyone using E15. Five manufacturers (BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen) state their warranties will not cover E15 claims. Eight additional automakers (GM, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo) state that E15 does not comply with fuel requirements specified in most owners’ manuals and may void warranties. It is difficult to comprehend why the EPA would choose to ignore all these warnings.

The automakers’ position is understandable given that most cars were never designed for E15. Only about five percent, or 12 million of the more than 240 million light-duty vehicles on U.S. roads today, are approved by manufacturers to use the fuel. These vehicles include flex-fuel models, 2001 and newer Porsches, 2012 and newer GM vehicles and 2013 Fords. So unless you drive a Porsche or a brand new car, you could be out of luck when it comes to E15.

The only responsible action to take now is to suspend the sale of E15 until consumers are better informed and protected at the pump. AAA did not come to this decision lightly. We arrived at this recommendation only after extensively reviewing the existing research, surveying automakers and conducting a national poll finding that only five percent of Americans had heard of E15.

The simple truth is that E15 is a product not yet ready for public consumption, and government regulators have an obligation to suspend sales until these issues are addressed.

AAA recommends the EPA, fuel producers and automakers collectively develop a long-term plan that promotes public education, while implementing improved labeling and warnings at the pump. Additional research also is necessary to better understand the full consequences of using E15 in older and newer vehicles.

AAA urges regulators and the renewable fuels industry to consider the interests of consumers first by immediately suspending the sale of E15 before American motorists are left footing the bill.

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