Feeds

UK supermarkets fingered in crap petrol probe

Yet more rage for British motorists

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Supermarkets in the south-eastern UK presented a fresh target for motorist anger today, as reports circulated that the grocery chains had been selling contaminated fuel.

A large number of irate drivers have contacted media and consumer-affairs organisations over the past 24 hours, complaining that their cars did not run properly after refuelling at certain forecourts.

When taken for repairs, the affected vehicles were typically found to have defective "lambda sensors," used in modern car engines to regulate the richness of the fuel-air mixture. The sensor measures the amount of oxygen present in the car's exhaust gas, allowing the engine electronics to feed in the correct amount of fuel.

Such exhaust-oxygen sensors normally fail after 30,000 to 50,000 miles. This will cause the engine to use too much fuel and emit more pollution. It will often run rough at idle, and respond sluggishly or misfire when accelerating.

Automotive parts suppliers seeing unprecedented demand for replacement oxygen sensors in the South East, giving rise to suspicion that duff fuel may be involved. Some reports have hinted at ethanol contamination, but the AA said that tests have shown this is not the case. Other fuel contaminants can degrade lambda sensors, for example antifreezes or silicones.

Trading standards officers are now investing the matter. It's to be hoped they can wrap the case swiftly, lest disgruntled drivers mount a letter-bombing campaign or worse, a Downing Street e-petition. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS
Clippy: It looks your hands are shaking, are you sure you want to commit this code?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.