Motorist accuses garage of selling diluted fuel

Motorist Mr Wilkinson pictured with some of the bottles of the 'infected' fuel
Motorist Mr Wilkinson pictured with some of the bottles of the 'infected' fuel
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A Wigan motorist has accused a garage of selling fuel heavily diluted with water after his car broke down just minutes after filling up.

But the garage owners have countered the claims and trading standards officers have said there is no evidence of anything more than an isolated incident.

Andrew Wilkinson, from Hindley, said his Citroen C3 gave up the ghost shortly after leaving the Swan Service Station garage on Atherton Road.

He managed to push the car back to his Platt Lane home but was then appalled to find the unleaded petrol he drained out of the tank was more than half water, he claims.

However, garage owner Faruk Divelli said there had been a small mix-up with fuel delivery which was quickly rectified.

He said: “We had a delivery problem, that was it. We knew it was wrong straightaway, a few cars were affected. We compensated those drivers and we have the receipts to prove it.”

He added that Mr Wilkinson will also be compensated for what happened if he returns to the garage.

Mr Wilkinson rang Trading Standards about the incident and says he is unhappy they did not make more urgent moves to investigate, claiming council officials should have headed to the Atherton Road garage the same day.

He said: “I feel motorists need to be aware because it’s a popular station. If you are putting unleaded fuel in your car there beware. I won’t fill up there again. The stuff that came out of the tank was disgusting. The RAC man who came out to see me had never seen anything like it.

“I would say about 60 per cent of what I siphoned off from the tank was water. It could have knackered my car.

“What has also upset me is that it could have been my wife and kids in the car when it broke down.”

The town hall trading standards department has said Mr Wilkinson needs to produce more proof that other factors were not responsible for the alleged water ending up in the car’s fuel tank and the incident does not follow the pattern of previous problems with infected petrol.

A spokesman said: “In the past where we have identified fuel contamination, we have always received a significant numbers of complaints from motorists. This incident appears to have been an isolated case as we have received no further complaints. Mr Wilkinson has been advised on the action he can take himself in relation to the matter.”