Boat owners in California are taking legal action against major oil companies that sell ethanol-blended fuel.

Boat owners in California are taking legal action against major oil companies that sell ethanol-blended fuel. Attorneys representing the owners say that the fuel has caused serious damage to the fuel tanks or engines aboard many fibreglass boats.

“Selling gasoline that dissolves gas tanks is a new low, even for the oil companies,” said Brian Kabateck, managing partner of Kabateck, Brown Kellner, who is the lead attorney on the case. The class action lawsuit names Big West, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell, Tesoro, Tower Energy, PetroDiamond, and Valero.

The lawsuit claims that ethanol not only dissolves the resin used to bind fibreglass threads together, causing fuel tanks to leak, but that the dissolved resin damages fuel systems and engines.

For an exclusive feature on the pros and cons of fuels such as ethanol-blended fuel, see May’s MBM, out 17 April.