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Petrolimex admits fuel causes engine failure, claims mix-up

Update: February, 05/2016 - 08:20
An employee pumps gasoline at a station in Tran Hung Dao Street, Ha Noi. Tests confirmed that the gum content in some gasoline samples distributed by Petrolimex in HCM City exceeded the regulated amount, which may have caused engine failure in several cars in the city since last month. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

HA NOI (VNS) — Gasoline distributor Petrolimex Sai Gon yesterday admitted their A95 fuel had caused engine failure in several cars.

The company's acknowledgement came one day after official tests confirmed that the gum content in some gasoline samples distributed by Petrolimex in HCM City exceeded the regulated amount.

According to Quality Assurance and Testing Center 3 (QUATEST 3), a number of A95 gasoline samples collected from the market were found to have gum contents ranging from 22mg to 166mg per 100ml of gasoline, up to 33 times higher than the maximum quantity allowed at 5mg per 100ml.

The Southern Products Management Branch sent the samples to the QUATEST 3 for quality testing on January 20 following a series of reports on engines breaking after being pumped with A95 gasoline.

"This result shows that the gasoline was likely not an original one but a mixed product," said a QUATEST 3 representative.

Petrolimex Sai Gon, however, denied that their fuel was a mixed one, saying that their fuel transfer tanks just accidentally pumped up the gasoline at the bottom of the storage, where a layer of gum was initially formed as the fuel has been stored there for a long time. That made some gasoline samples have higher gum content than standard, said the company.

"A high quantity of gum in gasoline might cause the formation of solids in the fuel charging system, which is likely to result in engine failure," said Quality Management Department Head Tran Quoc Tuan.

Tran Khai Minh, owner of a brand new Mercedes Benz, told Thanh Nien (Yong People) newspaper that it cost him nearly VND165 million (US$7,330) to replace his car's fuel pump and injector. He said problems arose a day after buying VND500,000 ($22) of A95 gasoline at a Petrolimex fuel station.

"The car sometimes even stopped out of the blue," he said. "It must be because of the gasoline as this has never happened before."

Minh was not the only victim. A Mercedes Benz car garage in District 7 said that it had taken in 22 cars with the same problems since last month.

"More than 90 per cent of the customers said that they had pumped the gasoline at a Petrolimex station," said the garage's engineering manager Nguyen Trung Kien.

Petrolimex Sai Gon apologised to all of their customers and said it would take responsibility for the incident by handling compensations for any customers whose cars broke down due to the gasoline at fault.

Customers can contact with the company via the hotline 0902684488 or directly at the Petrolimex station where they bought the fuel. — VNS

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