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Al-Irl

New Toyota Coralla saloon - fuel tank issue

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I purchased a new model Toyota Corollo 1.8 hybrid sport in January 2020. After 2 weeks of the car being on the road, a hybrid malfunction warning light appeared on the dashboard and the car went into lockdown. I was forced to have the car towed to the dealership. Inspections were completed by both the dealer and independent assessor and the following transpired:

- Fuel in the car was contaminated and after independent lab testing it was noted both water and a sediment that the lab could not identify were found. 

-  The contamination had resulted in the filter being heavily corroded ( remember car was 2 weeks old) spark plugs damaged and residue remaining in the engine that may or may not burn off. 

- Toyota claim as the issue was due to fuel it is not a warranty issue. 

- Fuel contamination is not covered under my insurance policy and in order to rectify the situation completely a full engine rebuild was recommended. 

- As the car was just two weeks old it had only been fueled up twice by me with both fuel ups being at the same fuel station and I hold receipts for both. I contacted the fuel station and they have now formally replied stating all their fuel during the period meets international standards with the accompanying fuel report attached to their letter. 

My solicitor is now involved in the case but the difficulty I'm having is proving who is liable. Has anyone in these forums heard of such an issue in the past? 

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The new car warranty, regardless of manufacturer, covers manufacturing faults, which suggests that fuel contamination wouldn't be covered. 

Wonder if the fuel station had received a new delivery just prior to or during one of your visits to fill up, which may have disturbed any sediment in the fuel station's tanks.

Moved to the Corolla club.

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Hi @FROSTYBALLS what I should have added to the above was when I fuelled up the car for the first time the check engine light appeared on the dashboard as I was driving away from the pump. I immediately pulled up and called the dealership. They advised over the phone to swith the car on and off. On turning the engine back on the check engine light was not appearing. 

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Hi, 

that is really very unfortunate situation having a brand new car damaged by someones fault and not covered by anyone like manufacturer warranty or insurance cover. Best is to work hard together with your solicitor and make a claim against the petrol station that sold you a fuel that caused the damage to your car. You will need to proof that the fuel was the cause of the problem, therefore it is 100% responsibility of the petrol station for the cost of repair to the car. Was it a big name garage or some small independent? Either of them will try to reject any responsibility but with a good solicitor and some money spent you will win the case. There are non faults with Corolla fuel system anywhere on the forum. The only problems with fuel system that I am aware of are with fuel tanks on new RAV4 2019-2020 , and mostly from US forums. 
Good luck 👍
 

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You’re so unlucky, hopefully it was a major chain fuel provider, because they will be well able to financially make you happy. From reading your post it seems to me that it’s blatantly obvious the petrol retailer has the responsibility to provide the public with a product which will not cause damage to vehicles. Do not be afraid to pursue the matter, fuel retailers do not like adverse publicity, because sales will drop through the floor. Good luck with your case.

3 hours ago, Al-Irl said:

I purchased a new model Toyota Corollo 1.8 hybrid sport in January 2020. After 2 weeks of the car being on the road, a hybrid malfunction warning light appeared on the dashboard and the car went into lockdown. I was forced to have the car towed to the dealership. Inspections were completed by both the dealer and independent assessor and the following transpired:

- Fuel in the car was contaminated and after independent lab testing it was noted both water and a sediment that the lab could not identify were found. 

-  The contamination had resulted in the filter being heavily corroded ( remember car was 2 weeks old) spark plugs damaged and residue remaining in the engine that may or may not burn off. 

- Toyota claim as the issue was due to fuel it is not a warranty issue. 

- Fuel contamination is not covered under my insurance policy and in order to rectify the situation completely a full engine rebuild was recommended. 

- As the car was just two weeks old it had only been fueled up twice by me with both fuel ups being at the same fuel station and I hold receipts for both. I contacted the fuel station and they have now formally replied stating all their fuel during the period meets international standards with the accompanying fuel report attached to their letter. 

My solicitor is now involved in the case but the difficulty I'm having is proving who is liable. Has anyone in these forums heard of such an issue in the past? 

 

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I take you have had the car fixed at your expense, with everything going on at the moment its going to take a lot of time to get this resolved

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Yes, I have had to pay the repair costs. Hope if we can identify who is at fault I will be reimbursed. I am fully willing to persue whomever I need to through the courts. 

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Take it through small claims if its under £5k unless its more, the petrol supplier will be insured for such events, the insurance companies will try to keep it out of court

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5 minutes ago, flash22 said:

Take it through small claims if its under £5k unless its more

The OP's profile shows 'Other/NonUK', so we don't know whether a system such as small claims exists where they live.

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Toyota have withdrawn the warranty on the car's engine so in order to restore my full warranty it will require a full engine rebuild/ new car. 

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It should be a new car replacement paid by the garage and they can have your damaged one to do whatever they want , not your fault to pay out of your pocket for repairs then you have a new car without engine warranty, that’s not a good outcome. You are not in uk and things might be very different from here. We can advise on that matter for sure, we can only try to share experience and help as much as we can. 

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Going back to the fuel issue, there have been occasional cases in the UK where,  when a fuel station's tanks have been replenished, the tanker driver has added too much of the additive package, resulting in engine damage to customer vehicles. Admittedly more than one vehicle has been affected when this has occurred, which may or may not be the case in this instance.

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1 hour ago, TonyHSD said:

It should be a new car replacement paid by the garage and they can have your damaged one to do whatever they want , not your fault to pay out of your pocket for repairs then you have a new car without engine warranty, that’s not a good outcome. You are not in uk and things might be very different from here. We can advise on that matter for sure, we can only try to share experience and help as much as we can. 

I'm based in Ireland and the car was also purchased from a main dealership in Ireland. 

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2 hours ago, Al-Irl said:

I'm based in Ireland and the car was also purchased from a main dealership in Ireland. 

I’m also based in Ireland and consumer rights are similar to those in U.K. I would definitely be sueing for a new car if Toyota is not guaranteeing the rebuilt engine. Or a replacement new engine for your car and all costs involved including a courtesy car while the case is being pursued. You should be made whole and left in the same position as you were before you purchased their petrol. We offer you moral support, and would be very interested in the outcome.

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7 hours ago, Al-Irl said:

Toyota have withdrawn the warranty on the car's engine so in order to restore my full warranty it will require a full engine rebuild/ new car. 

At this stage, the OP hasn't said whether they have had a new or rebuilt engine, and also who did the repair.

The new car warranty covers manufacturing defects, which this issue doesn't appear to be as it seems the problem was fuel contamination.

If a new engine has been installed, that will be covered for manufacturing defects. If the engine has been rebuilt, the repair may have a limited warranty (ie. one year)._The OP needs to clarify what work has been done, and by whom, and if the engine has been rebuilt, what warranty the repair will have.

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Wouldn't other customers also be affected by the contaminated fuel? If you're able to find other customers that got their engines destroyed from the same gas station on the same date then you definetly have a strong case.

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What kind of fuel can do such a thing? It's not diesel for sure, that would have been detected. Since the filter gets corroded, it must be some extremly aggressive stuff. My guess is that the truck it self has been contaminated, some thing has been left in the trailer from a previous transport, blended with fuel things may even get worse. 

If your fuel can't be identified as a product from the gas station, it can't be your fault. It can be diesel, E5, e10, e85, ron 92, 95, 98, V-power etc. But if it's just some strange mixture, highly aggressive, it can never be your fault m

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14 hours ago, King Crimson said:

Wouldn't other customers also be affected by the contaminated fuel? If you're able to find other customers that got their engines destroyed from the same gas station on the same date then you definetly have a strong case.

The OP should try social media or local newspapers to find out if any other customer has had damage caused by fuel. 
Remember the fuel contamination back in 2007 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_United_Kingdom_petrol_contamination 
The advice was to keep receipts from the fuel station and receipts for any repairs. Since the garage has a report that the fuel caused the damage, they are your expert witness with fully documented evidence. If they supply the OP with this evidence, the fuel company will be liable for any costs. A decent court should hopefully find favour for the OP. 
That's my thoughts. 
Good luck. 👍

  

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What a nightmare for you. Probably not relevant to you, but it reminds me of advice I have been given. Especially following on from Konrad C's post.

In the UK, the garage that services my commercial vehicle advised me to always use a trusted brand like BP, you pay a bit more, but the quality of fuel can be relied upon. I also noted that, when I got my new Corolla, there were a few quality items that the dealer noted, and I had to return to the dealer to have those items resolved. As the dealer is 25 miles away, they paid to top up my tank, and would only take me to BP, not the supermarket pump which was nearer.  So I do tend to use one of the Oil companies, but confess to risking supermarket fuel on occasion as well. 

Hope you get it resolved painlessly. Please keep us advised, and good luck.

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18 minutes ago, Timmon said:

As the dealer is 25 miles away, they paid to top up my tank, and would only take me to BP, not the supermarket pump which was nearer. 

Probably have an account with BP ....

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