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Fuel mix-up at Tesco sees drivers fill petrol cars with diesel

By Sara Neill

Published 02/06/2015

A contaminated delivery of petrol has caused havoc for drivers who filled up at a Tesco forecourt at the weekend
A contaminated delivery of petrol has caused havoc for drivers who filled up at a Tesco forecourt at the weekend

A contaminated delivery of petrol has caused havoc for drivers who filled up at a Tesco forecourt at the weekend.

It is understood diesel was found in the tanker that topped up pumps at Bloomfield, Bangor, on Saturday morning.

But the fuel mix-up problem was not discovered until customers left the supermarket.

Stuart McGarry put £50 of what he thought was petrol into his Peugoet 306, less than an hour after the contaminated delivery.

"After I filled up, I drove to Millisle and back, but the car was shuddering. The engine management light came on and I hooked the car up to the diagnostic machine," he said. It said there was a problem with the coil set, but a friend had spotted someone else on Facebook saying they'd had the same problem and it was because there was an issue with the petrol."

Mr McGarry contacted Tesco on Sunday morning and is awaiting a response from the shopping giant. In the meantime, he has been left with a car that he cannot drive.

"I had to pay £175 to get the car drained and have petrol put into it, but it still won't start," he said.

"This has been really frustrating. I was meant to take my son down south this weekend, but we couldn't get out at all."

As well as the cash forked out to pay for repairs, Mr McGarry has been forced to find other costly means of transport.

He said: "I had to pay £25 for a taxi to get to work and to take my son to nursery because I've still no car.

"I just got my car serviced and 'MoT-ed' last week, it was spotless and I thought that was it for another year."

Tesco said it is aware of an issue with unleaded fuel sold at the Bangor store on Saturday.

A spokesperson said: "We are investigating what happened and would like to apologise to any inconvenienced customers.

"We are working to contact all affected customers and will work with them on an individual basis to resolve their problems.

"Where we are found to have been at fault we will, of course, cover the costs of any repairs needed to customers' vehicles.

"We would like to thank those customers who have contacted us for their patience and understanding."

But Mr McGarry believes it is not enough for Tesco to simply offer recompense for the repairs.

"They would have to cover my costs. It's me who's out of pocket here. I've no money for my son because my living expenses for this month have had to go into my car.

"It's frustrating that they haven't told me more details. That means I can't go out and get a hire car because I don't know if I will have to pay for it."

Other drivers have taken to social media to vent their anger at the incident.

Kim Philips got petrol shortly before 3pm on Saturday. She posted on Facebook: "I had to pay £175 to get my car drained! Plus I have to leave it into Peugeot because it's not running smoothly.

"Why did I have to pay the up-front cost to get it drained? I call head office and give my details but why do I have to wait 48 hours from today for someone to email back?"

Tesco urged anyone affected who filled up at the store on Saturday afternoon to contact customer services on 0800 505 555.

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