CONTAMINATED fuel has been blamed for wrecking a brand-new car just a day after it was driven out of a dealership.
Kim Wiener said her silver Renaut Koleos “didn’t miss a beat” until she filled up for the first time with unleaded petrol at a Caltex outlet near her Albert Park home.
“I had literally gone only about 100 metres when it started chugging and coughing and spluttering. The dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree,” Mrs Wiener said.
“Up until that point I had travelled 200km without issue.”
The vehicle had to be towed from her home and needed repairs worth almost $5000.
Mrs Wiener, who had the car returned this week, was initially told she would have to pay $625 in insurance excess after Caltex denied liability.
RACV Insurance has since changed its mind.
Caltex Australia said an investigation did not indicate its Albert Park outlet was the source of problems.
The same site sold 7855 litres of unleaded on the April 29 day of purchase, and no other complaints were reported.
While unaware of the exact circumstances in this case, it noted some new cars could suffer driveability problems if degraded fuel was in tanks at time of purchase.
Renaut Brighton service adviser Bill Gauci said the vehicle was “totally undriveable”.
He believed tainted fuel was the culprit.
“We thought it was sand when it came out. There was yellow sludge in the bottom of the tank,” Mr Gauci said.
The fuel pump and fuel injectors had to be replaced, and the fuel system flushed.
Caltex Australia spokeswoman Sally Oelerich said the company seriously investigated customer concerns and fully reimbursed reasonable out-of-pocket expenses if at fault.
“In this instance, we conducted a quality test of the fuel for contaminants and specifically targeted the customer’s concern about water. That test indicated no water or other contaminants were present in the fuel on site,” Ms Oelerich said.
“While we are not in a position to know the complete details of this customer’s situation, we are aware of issues with new cars having older fuel in their tanks at the time of purchase. Petrol which has degraded with time and can cause driveability problems.”
Extracted from Courier Mail.