A MOTHER left stranded after a petrol pump blunder has criticised supermarket giant Sainsbury’s after it took four weeks and thousands of pounds to fix her car.
Julie Stephenson drove just yards from the Cramlington petrol station nearly a month ago before she was forced to ditch her Mercedes CLK when it was filled with faulty fuel.
Dozens of motorists were affected at the Northumberland site after a re-supply blunder meant drivers pumped contaminated petrol into their vehicles.
Mrs Stephenson has been without her car for nearly four weeks as mechanics stripped the fuel tank, pump and pipes in an effort to fix the damage.
Now she has criticised bosses at Sainsbury’s after they offered her a £100 gift voucher to compensate her for the inconvenience, as well as meeting the repair costs that totalled thousands of pounds.
The 40-year-old, who lives with her husband Jeff, 41, and their two children, Jake, 12, and Finlay, four, said: “It’s been a nightmare. I’ve had to have a courtesy car and they had to take my whole car apart and replace the whole fuel system which has cost thousands of pounds.
“I’ve had nearly four weeks of inconvenience and all they’ve offered is to pay the repair costs and give me a gift voucher.”
Following the error at Cramlington, bosses at Sainsbury’s confirmed that contaminated fuel had also been found at their filling station at the Arnison Centre, in Pity Me, County Durham, damaging around 10 cars. They blamed their supplier for using tankers filled with fuel that was contaminated with water.
Supermarket bosses agreed to fork out for repairs of at least 40 customers as it emerged that a rogue tanker supplied fuel to the two Sainsbury’s stores and they introduced a new inspection routine to stop any future problems.
A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “Mechanical problems such as these are extremely rare and we are very sorry for the inconvenience it has caused. We have spoken to Mrs Stephenson to apologise for the inconvenience and to reassure her that we are covering all the costs for the repairs to her car.
“We have now added further checks to the fuel supplier’s processes to ensure that this cannot happen again.”