Sawtry garage in contaminated fuel row

A HUNTINGDONSHIRE garage at the centre of contaminated fuel complaints says it is doing everything it can to stop the same happening again, and has not used the pump since.

Two Sawtry businessmen say diesel bought from K Cooper Motors was responsible for causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to their vehicles.

Matt Harvey, director at P and M Pumps, said one of his sales engineers broke down after filling their Saab 93 with fuel at the garage in Green End Road.

And Simon Griffith, owner of garden design and tree surgery firm G3D, says he has been left �5,000 out of pocket and had to live without a work vehicle for six weeks, after buying fuel from the same garage.

The pair are now both seeking compensation, and the garage’s owner has said they will be instructing their insurance company to pay for the repairs to Mr Harvey’s cars.

Mr Harvey said his engineer was on his way to a sales trip to Sussex on March 30 but only made it as far as the M25.

He was left stranded at services on the busy motorway all day until the RAC towed the vehicle back to K Cooper Motors, where he was told him the vehicle would be repaired.

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Mr Harvey said: “It is still off the road now. A sample of diesel was taken from the fuel tank and it looked like it had water in it.

“I have had the fuel suppliers in my office. They said the diesel is not contaminated at their end because they have stringent checks in place.”

Mr Griffith and his partner Samantha Brown filled up their Volkswagen transporter van at K Cooper Motors on March 13 and 40 miles later, the engine was in serious trouble.

He said: “The Volkswagen transporter has a limp mode when there is a problem. We managed to get it to a garage. We had to pay �200 just to find out what was wrong with it.

“They said it was a problem with contaminated fuel. They pressure-washed the injectors and that did not solve the problem. All five injectors had to be replaced. Each injector costs about �650.

“It has been a nightmare. We have got a domestic car, but we are garden designers and we do all sorts of garden work. We have suffered a significant loss of earnings. We have had to cancel some work and put some work back and deal with some with the car.”

Garage owner Judy Cooper told The Hunts Post that the fuel pump in question was shut down as soon as it was suggested that the fuel could be contaminated.

She added that it remained out of action while investigations continued.

She said: “We contacted Trading Standards ourselves to tell them that we had a contaminated pump. They are happy with the way we have had handled the situation. We apologised and we did all we could.”

Mrs Cooper explained that the business had been in the village for 45 years and they had never had a complaint until this incident.

A Cambridgeshire County Council trading standards representative said: “We have had two complaints, which we have investigated. We have spoken to the owner of the firm, who has taken the steps we recommended – to shut down the pumps and to send samples away for testing.”