Cars break down after heavy rain
CANNONVALE resident Alistair Sawyer said he was fuming when he was told that water in the fuel was responsible for the breakdown of his car.
Mr Sawyer believes BP Cannonvale is responsible for the water in the fuel.
BP Cannonvale has confirmed there were a small number of complaints about E10 fuel earlier this month but say tests have established there is now no water in any of the site’s fuel tanks.
Mr Sawyer, a self-employed builder by trade, re-fuelled his work utility at the service station at 4pm on Thursday, January 30, as Tropical Cyclone Dylan was approaching the Queensland coast.
He said his car did not even make it out of the petrol station before stopping.
“Ten metres from the bowser it just stopped, conked out, stalled.”
Mr Sawyer said he waited for an hour for the RACQ to arrive, by which time he described himself as “wet, exhausted and wanting to get home”.
“They couldn’t work it out – they tried everything,” he said.
Mr Sawyer said the next day he received a call from the RACQ saying a number of people in the area had broken down, with the cause determined to be water in the fuel.
He then took his car to a local repairer, where the bill to have it repaired came to more than $1200.
Mr Sawyer said BP was willing to pay for the repair work and the cost of the fuel, but only if he signed a deed of release, releasing BP from all liability in relation to the complaint.
“I’d prefer not to have my money than sign that,” he said, after paying the bill himself.
A spokesperson for BP confirmed that on Monday, February 3, staff at the station became aware of a small number of customers experiencing mechanical problems after fuelling with E10 unleaded fuel.
“Immediately sales of E10 unleaded were suspended and an investigation commenced,” the spokesperson said.
“Customers with mechanical issues were advised to immediately lodge claims through BP’s National Fuel Guarantee hotline and arrange to have their cars repaired by local repairers as soon as possible.”
The spokesperson also confirmed that investigations by third party fuel specialists had concluded this was a transient event, caused by large volumes of rain from Cyclone Dylan.
“Tests have established that there is no water present in any of the site’s fuel tanks,” the spokesperson said.
“BP Whitsunday will shortly commence some additional site works to ensure no similar incidents occur during future high rainfall events.” According to the spokesperson, several customers going through the BP Fuel Guarantee claims process reported their claims were investigated and settled within 24 hours.