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Miss-fuels are jumping as diesel cars numbers up

Mar 19th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

MORE diesel cars on the road are translating to more drivers picking up the wrong nozzle at the fuel pump.

Reports from AA show there were 1687 of miss-fuels in 2009, a jump of 27%  to 2143 in 2010, before dropping back to 1751 last year.

Most call-outs involve people who previously owned a petrol car, says AA spokesman Mark Stockdale.

In the last six months on average there were 219 callouts a month from people that had made this mistake.

“If you’re driving a different car that needs different fuel the AA would also advise drivers to concentrate on the task at hand and not be side-tracked,” he says.

There has been a 27% increase in new imported diesel cars in the last three years, according to figures from the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Numbers rose from 8670 in 2009 to 11,020 last year.

To cater for the increase diesel is more readily available on service station forecourts, says BP communications manager Jonty Mills.

“There are more diesel pumps on the petrol stations to meet that demand of having more diesel vehicles on the road and more customers want diesel,” he says.

Mr Mills says new owners’ mistakes ma ybe a factor and the industry needs to look at whether the colours of fuel pumps are confusing.

“I do believe that there should be an industry standard that relates to all companies across the board.”

Gasoline Alley’s national sales manager Phil Murray says miss-fuelling happens quite frequently and more warnings may help the problem.

“I think it is fairly common. People just grab a hose and make a mistake,” he says.

“I think it is a good idea to have more warnings around the petrol nozzles and I think it is a good idea to have a warning inside the fuel cap.”

Gull’s retail business manager, Graham Stirk, says they have put warnings in place to try to prevent people from miss-fuelling their cars.

“Our diesel nozzles are bigger and weigh more which means they feel different to hold. This makes it harder to make a mistake,” he says.


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