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Old 23rd June 2013, 00:29   #1
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Default Adulterated diesel costs Audi A6 owner Rs 4.11 lakhs

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Yet another case of Adulterated Fuel killing a Car - An Expensive Car.

I wonder, can these dealers be so foolish to cheat the customers in today's times ? I mean, c'mon, customers in big cities have become smarter, thanks to social media. Its' not worth the risk of cheating customers in big cities !! When will these dealers learn ?

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Dr Ramesh Ranka of Ranka Hospital says impure fuel from BPCL pump near Khalapur naka spoiled his car, which needed repairs worth Rs 4.11 lakh

Tanking up his high-end car from a reputed company’s fuel station on the Pune- Mumbai Expressway turned out to be a heartache for this city-based medical practitioner. The spare parts of his Audi A6 gave way and the petroleum company has gone incommunicado.

Dr Ramesh Ranka, who runs Ranka Hospital at Maharshinagar off Pune-Satara Road, told Mirror, “My wife decided to fill diesel at a Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)-owned petrol pump at the food mall near Khalapur toll naka on June 10.

The car started at the fuel station and stopped after travelling 15 feet.” He added, “Diesel worth Rs 2,000 was filled in the tank and after that, the car stopped and never took off. I called up Audi’s Pune workshop and its staff towed the car away.”

The Audi workshop staff flushed the engine and the tank and found adulterated fuel. “It contained mud and water, which had damaged my car. The workshop authorities told me the cost of repairing will not be covered by insurance and I will have to pay for the repair works .

They gave me an estimate of Rs 4 lakh. It was shocking. I was punished for no fault of mine,” Ranka said. He decided to approach BPCL. He said, “After lodging a complaint at the petrol pump, I wrote several emails to company.

Last edited by GTO : 23rd June 2013 at 16:14. Reason: Keeping the fair usage policy in mind, it's best to share an excerpt + link to full article. Thanks
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Old 23rd June 2013, 08:09   #2
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Default re: Adulterated diesel costs Audi A6 owner Rs 4.11 lakhs

Concerned to hear that this incident is not covered by insurance? Why should that be? Has it not happend accidentally, not attributable to negligence and not as normal wear and tear? End result is damage to core components of the insured vehicle!

Can happen to anyone especially on highway trips. Can the insurance gurus comment please?
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Old 23rd June 2013, 08:40   #3
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Not sure if I read it correct. Just by one adulterated fuel top up, car like Audi should give up? And that too the bill of 4.x lakhs. Something I am missing for sure. A fuel tank cleanup and few things associated with it may be the repair. Or this cleanup itself is worth that much, in which I prefer to stay with national low cost vehicles

I drive on highways often and fill in at some 'suspicious' fuel stations anyway as have less options but my sub10 lakhs car never gave up! Of course its petrol and may have more tolerance levels that diesel complexities? But many other diesel friends do that too and never had such massive problems.

Can someone please fill in for my lack of knowledge? More insight into this and an expert comment on if this is diesel specific thing would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 09:01   #4
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Default re: Adulterated diesel costs Audi A6 owner Rs 4.11 lakhs

This seems to be a thin line, though I must state I am no insurance expert.

Using adulterated fuel, knowingly or unknowingly, seems to go against the manufacturer recommendations and it's not clear if this will be covered by the insurance cover. The policy usually states the vehicle must be driven according to the applicable laws and the interpretation could probably be extended to include "as per manufacturer specifications". For e.g. using tyres of a size not recommended by the manufacturer might also void your insurance cover (technically), since it's actually illegal.

The fuel pump, in this case, must be held responsible and strict action taken against it.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 09:52   #5
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Everything from the story seems to be true, the only bit i question is the car stopping in about 15 feet after fueling up.

Even if the car would have been in reserve it would have had the previous fuel (non adulterated) which will make it run for atleast a few kms.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 09:58   #6
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Default re: Adulterated diesel costs Audi A6 owner Rs 4.11 lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
Everything from the story seems to be true, the only bit i question is the car stopping in about 15 feet after fueling up.

Even if the car would have been in reserve it would have had the previous fuel (non adulterated) which will make it run for atleast a few kms.
Exactly what i was thinking. Another thought is, the previous fuel fill would be have been bad, that the "Last Bits " of the previous fill had reached the Engine to stop functioning.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 10:18   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
Everything from the story seems to be true, the only bit i question is the car stopping in about 15 feet after fueling up.

Even if the car would have been in reserve it would have had the previous fuel (non adulterated) which will make it run for atleast a few kms.
Agree. In 15 feet, fuel already in the pipings would be consumed. So, even if the fuel got mixed in the tank, it is unlikely that the new fuel would enter the Engine.

Unless Audi's fuel tank is very close to the engine?
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Old 23rd June 2013, 11:09   #8
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Default re: Adulterated diesel costs Audi A6 owner Rs 4.11 lakhs

The 15 feet bit is indeed something that seems fishy. Maybe blown out of proportion for making a dramatic story.
Another thing that stems out of this is the nature of European engineered vehicles having to be taken care of meticulously. I suppose it is due to the fact that it is built for a market where adulterated fuel and such things does not simply exist. Regarding the 4 lakh figure, it seems to be about right, considering the stratospheric prices these guys quote for simple spares like an orvm. In our skewed economy where a bmw costs as much as a flat, this is a hard but true fact.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 11:10   #9
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Default re: Adulterated diesel costs Audi A6 owner Rs 4.11 lakhs

Thinking back on the incident, have there been any other diesel vehicles who have reported the same problem?

Was the mud/impurities already in the fuel tank and were stirred up with the new fuel being pumped in?

Was the refueling done during/immediately after a "load" had been emptied into the fuel bunk? (Load=a tanker carrying diesel for replenishing the bunk)

If the pump gave out impure diesel, surely there must have been other cars which have refueled there, and have suffered some or the other problem? No matter how tolerant the fuel system is, surely mud and other solid impurities in the fuel would choke up some other vehicles?
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Old 23rd June 2013, 11:18   #10
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Default re: Adulterated diesel costs Audi A6 owner Rs 4.11 lakhs

Look at the diesel sample, do you think so many other vehicles would have run on such horrible looking fuel? Looks more like home made alcohol to me than diesel.

And 4 lakhs for repair, what are they, replacing the engine?

I'd take this story with a tub of salt.

Last edited by GTO : 23rd June 2013 at 16:17. Reason: Please do NOT generalise against any particular profession. Keep the comments real
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Old 23rd June 2013, 11:25   #11
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Default re: Adulterated diesel costs Audi A6 owner Rs 4.11 lakhs

It would also be educative to know the jobs that are proposed to be carried out at the dealership and the list of spares that are to be replaced. Rs 4 lakhs appears to be way too high.
Moreover the fuel filter would get clogged up before it reaches the injection system and cause serious damage. This could be what that happened and the engine stopped starved of fuel. The rest appears to be blown out of proportion. And clogging could be result of fuel filled earlier.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 11:56   #12
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Default re: Adulterated diesel costs Audi A6 owner Rs 4.11 lakhs

I'm sure there must be more to this story. Its probably a 2.0tdi engine on that A6, which is used in many other cars from the Laura to the Q5 and its been in India for a couple of years. Also the expressway pumps are used by many cars, and I think if they dealt with such adulterated fuel that a car stops in 15 feet, there would have been many other cases the same day.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 12:15   #13
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Default re: Adulterated diesel costs Audi A6 owner Rs 4.11 lakhs

Don't diesel cars have a fuel filter?
isn't that the very purpose of the fuel filter?
isn't it possible that the car stalled because the fuel filter got clogged?
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Old 23rd June 2013, 12:58   #14
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Default re: Adulterated diesel costs Audi A6 owner Rs 4.11 lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
I think if they dealt with such adulterated fuel that a car stops in 15 feet, there would have been many other cases the same day.
+1..


This is just a vague info that, pumps are required to change into some kind of new underground tanks, to prevent these kind of happenings. So, even if the fault is of the pump, not only the Audi, but even others would've suffered.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 14:17   #15
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Default re: Adulterated diesel costs Audi A6 owner Rs 4.11 lakhs

I had a few questions / thoughts in mind. Ofcourse I can never speak to the victim or the pump guy for a clarification. This could be a media showdown as well.
This is a Fight of Powerful People - Doctor vs Govt Fuel Company.

But again, there are my thoughts, some of which are mentioned by many here:

- What was the level of fuel in the car before it was refuelled ? Minor impurities in the bottom of the car can be carried forward to the filter. But isn't a filter supposed to stop these impurities ?
- The impurities in this case seems to be mud and water. When was the last time the storage tank was inspected for any leakages that could contaminate the stored fuel underground ? I find it hard to believe that someone would adulterate fuel with mud and water !!! Kerosene is a common adulterant for diesel.
- 15ft is too less for a car to stall with impurities, unless its filled with only impure fuel. What happened to other diesel cars who refuelled there ?
- 4.11 lakhs is an exorbitant price for fixing the car. But again, I am sure the doctor would have analyzed the breakdown of charges and agreed to it. Or Audi workshop could be hand in gloves with the doctor for defaming the fuel pump. In this case, Audi is getting defamed itself for being such an expensive to maintain car. lol

This would be a long drawn case with evidences twisted, facts changed, defamation suites filed, etc etc.

For all we know, its better to be aware than suffer.

I have never been a highway traveler, so I have very less knowledge or experience how these dealers fleece customer with underrated service/products.
I would suggest everyone who is a highway traveler to please follow HVK's forum and travelogues to be doubly sure of the safe places on highways.
P.S: I am not advertising, but just that HVK is a reliable source of highway information.
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