Car damaged because of wrong fuel? What you can ask of the service station
What demands can you make of a service station when your car suffers damage after being filled with the wrong fuel?
Consumer journo Wendy Knowler investigates after hearing one consumer's scary story.
After the tank had been filled at a service station, Marvin's car started jerking and smoking and then stalled.
The Capetonian's receipt showed he'd been charged for unleaded fuel, but in fact his almost-empty tank had been filled with diesel instead of petrol.
To cut a long story short, the owner of the service station agreed to pay for the repair but insisted that the 2015 VW Polo auto (i.e. out of warranty) be repaired by his mechanic, as taking it to a VW dealership would be too expensive.Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist
Clearly the service station owner was referring to Right to Repair, which is not a law but a set of non-binding guidelines issued by the Competition Commission, says Knowler.
The guidelines came into effect last July.
Marvin's story had a happy ending when the garage owner eventually agreed to repairs at a franchised VW dealership, because his mechanic was too busy.
As “misfuelling” is not rare, Knowler followed up with Mark Dommisse, chairperson of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (Nada).
The service station owner may insist on the mechanic or workshop of their choice repairing the vehicle, but the car owner should insist that it’s ideally an RMI-approved [Retail Motor Industry Organisation] workshop and someone who knows that specific make of car.Mark Dommisse, Chair - National Automobile Dealers’ Association
Be alert when putting in fuel at a service station and check your slip afterwards, Knowler cautions.
If you do drive off and there is a problem with your car, contact the franchised dealer for advice and alert the filling station.
Also check if your insurance policy includes cover for misfuelling.
For more detail, take a listen:
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