Wānaka's problem petrol under investigation

by Kim Bowden - Mar 12, 2024

The supplier of potentially tainted petrol that was sold in Wānaka says "the second" problems were reported by customers sales of the fuel were stopped.

Late last week some motorists who had filled up at Allied Petroleum's 24-hour fuel pumps on Ballantyne Road started reporting issues with the running of their vehicles.

Allied Petroleum has sent samples of its Premium 95 petrol off for testing, but customers could wait weeks for conclusive results.

Company general manager Mat Reynen says he is "absolutely confident" any problem was "contained" as quickly as possible.

"The second that there was some social media feedback we took action to close down the site."

He says a holding tank was then emptied and cleaned, before being refilled with fresh petrol.

It is now business as usual at the pumps.

"There should be no issue going forward whatsoever."

Mr Reynen would not be drawn on what may have gone wrong with the petrol supply, or how long any suspect petrol may have been available for purchase.

"Testing could take a couple of weeks, and I don't think speculation is the way to go."

However, one customer spoken to by Crux says they have been told today by retailer Upper Clutha Transport that there was "a bit of diesel in the fuel".

Yesterday Upper Clutha Transport declined to speak to Crux on the issue, saying all questions should be directed to Allied Petroleum.

The customer is a regular at the fuel stop and says they filled up on Thursday, and now their car is unable to be driven and needs towing to a mechanic.

Another customer spoken to by Crux says they are booked in to have their car seen by a mechanic, but the wait for an appointment is two weeks.

They say they filled up last week and drove only the few hundred metres down the road back to their place of work.

"When I left work the car struggled to start. I thought it was a little weird but continued home. (The) car was very sluggish, especially when trying to get off from a standstill."

They haven't driven it since and are concerned about the potential for ongoing engine damage.

Other customers have reported on social media of vehicles spluttering, stalling and smoking.

Several mechanics in Wānaka have confirmed they have impacted vehicles booked into their workshops.

Unfortunately for consumers, there are no easy answers for what damage contaminated fuel could do to an engine, and it largely depends on what the contaminant is.

In the meantime, Wānaka mechanics will be emptying fuel tanks and cleaning systems.

Their advice: If you fill up and notice anything different with your vehicle, get it seen to ASAP.

Mr Reynen says Allied Petroleum will be talking with affected customers.

He also advises motorists to check out any noticeable change in vehicle functioning.

"If you do notice something is off with the car, fuel or something else, don't push it, and see a mechanic."

Allied Petroleum's Luggate site was unaffected.

Main image: Allied Petroleum's 24-hour fuel pumps on Ballantyne Road are back in business, Tuesday, March 12, 2024.

Support Crux Support Crux