Water in petrol 'wrecks' family car

ROSA STUDHOLME
Last updated 05:00 20/12/2012
kevin booth
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ
FRUSTRATED: Kevin Booth, of Cave, feels let down by BP after his car (inset) was filled with petrol contaminated with water.

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A man from Cave says he has been left frustrated and out of pocket after filling up his vehicle with water-contaminated petrol in Oamaru last month.

Kevin Booth had been visiting Oamaru with his partner and her children to celebrate Guy Fawkes on November 2 when they filled up at BP 2Go.

Almost immediately they were told of the issue by station staff.

They were among 13 customers at the station whose cars were affected. Pumps at two stations in Dunedin and a Mobil station were also contaminated.

The family were given a rental car for the weekend while the contaminated fuel was flushed out and replaced, and they received a refund for the fuel.

However, Mr Booth said his car, a 2007 Holden Commodore, continued to blow white smoke and lose power while accelerating.

"There's still water through the whole system," he said yesterday.

He had since purchased a new vehicle, "just to get us around".

His claim has been referred to BP's insurance company, Cunningham and Lindsey, who he said declined to pay a bill for having the car checked at the Timaru Holden dealership.

He said BP should be obligated to provide assurance the car was back to "100 per cent".

"I'd feel better if they replaced the whole car.

"They [the insurance company] told me to take it in to Holden and now they're not going to pay for it.

"It's actually wrecked the car for us.

"It felt to me that the idle was different. It never used to have a miss in it."

Now he feels had cannot sell the car in good faith. He valued it at more than $20,000.

"Are we liable to tell people what happened to that car? They should give us something to say that car is 100 per cent."

BP communications and external affairs manager Jonty Mills said the contamination occurred when staff were undertaking "routine integrity pressure testing of a pipeline" using water.

It was an "isolated case", he said.

He said the company was happy with how it had responded.

"We followed the process, as have the insurance company.

"[It was] rectified pretty quickly that I'm aware of."

However, he agreed Mr Booth should not have to pay for having the car checked at the Holden dealership.

He said he would follow it up with Mr Booth.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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