Feeds

UK supermarkets fingered in crap petrol probe

Yet more rage for British motorists

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?