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Unleaded in a new diesel engine

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highvoltage | 14:55 Fri 29th Sep 2006 | Motoring
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Our new car died 3 miles from the dealers, on the day we bought it, because they had filled the diesel car with unleaded fuel. They cleaned the fuel system and that is all they are prepared to do. What would you do about potential damage? How can damage to the pump/injectors or engine be proved?

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well u could try to sue them,,, we r going like the americans and sueing for everything,,,

but then we r also going PC so is it PC to sue them????

but then the govenment also like to claim human rights,,,
and u as a human have a right to have a new car with the correct petrol in,,,and the car dealership violated that...

maybe go to the citezen advize bureau and see what u can do...
Question Author
The local CAB office say I have a case for:
1) replacement car
2) money back
3) replacement parts (pump/injectors) and a partial refund for accepting less than new quality of goods

If I could tell if there was damage I'd go for a replacement car or money back.

Are there any techies out there who know if garages have the equipment to spot problems with fuel pumps and injectors?
I'm assuming this is a brand new car? If so, it should be under warranty anyway. If it does suffer from having been run with the wrong fuel then they'll have to fix it under the warranty. A lot of cars bought secondhand from dealers will have a warranty too, albeit a shorter one.

I'd be tempted to put it in writing stating that you expect it to be fixed foc is anything happens due to them filling with the wrong fuel.
This is something I come across daily in my job. As long as no damage has been done to the engine, then fuel siphon and engine tank flush will sort it quite quickly. But if you are not happy then they should offer you a replacement. This is their fault, not yours. Do not give in. They must either replace the vehicle. Seeing as you drove it, this may have given the fuel the chance to completly get into the engine and will have extermely detrimental effects in the long run.

Take it back, and request a replacement. If not, call their head office (usually works)Trading Standards, threaten them with Watchdog and get a solicitior too. It peeves me when these dealers try and fob you off. They cocked up so that should sort it!

Let me know how you get on. Which dealer?
Question Author
Hi cascarelli, yes it was brand new, the car spec is Yaris 1.4 diesel T-Spirit (my wife's choice and her pride and joy).

We're still waiting for a written explanation, which I asked for on day one (it's been a week now). I've sent them a letter to give them the options that the CAB office suggested. I've also copied the letter to Toyota(GB) Plc.

The dealers have blamed an 'incorrectly stickered fuelcap'. Meaning someone put an 'unleaded' sticker instead of a 'diesel' sticker on the fuel cap. Which I can't confirm because I didn't have the sense to check...

I'll let you know how things turn out.
Question Author
Hi spaced; I like your get tough attitude. We're none too happy so we are trying the PC route first - a polite request stating the potential for harm caused to the fuel system.

If that doesn't work then it's all out for maximum embarassment for the dealer and the manufacturer.
That is such a bad excuse, wrong sticker on cap, they have already admitted they were wrong.

A dealer employee cannot tell the difference between driving a diesel car and a petrol one, as he must have driven it to the pump, that is ludicrous.

As the factory fitted the wrong sticker they should replace the car. What would happen if the wrong sticker was on the engine oil cap, water instead of oil.

Question Author
The big D4D badge on the side of the car should have been a clue too.
Is one allowed to say ******* on here?
First, it is their mistake
Second, it is up to them to rectify
Third, I like the attitude
Fourth, If they do not replace the car, will you or the wife ever feel completely happy with it? I have never had a brand new motorcar, but can imagine what you feel at present.

Put your foot down, tell them what you think, and threaten every available avenue of making them look stupid, including writing to the MD of Toyota in the UK and Japan. For far too long in the UK we have put up with 2nd rate service
Question Author
Hi Andy Boz; thanks for your answer.

I feel let down and can't help feeling that at some point in the future (probably just after the three year warranty runs out) the engine will fail and we'll be looking at a small fortune to fix it.

As it is we see smoke on a cold startup and there is vibration at motorway speeds that blurs the vision in the rear view mirror. Not having owned a Toyota diesel before, I don't know if this is typical.

I'll reveal the name of the dealer if they don't put things right for us... ;o)
Question Author
Latest news: The MD of the dealers has offered my wife a total replacement for the affected car. This came as a pleasant surprise because we were gearing up for a lengthy battle for compensation. He was away on holiday during the incident and for the next few days, but on his return he has shown a fair attitude towards us.

We wait for a call to say it's been delivered... more later!

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