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Payment row over ethanol car repairs

TT/The Local · 23 Jul 2010, 09:16

Published: 23 Jul 2010 09:16 GMT+02:00

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The problems hit many ethanol car owners in the spring. Although car manufacturers have deferred responsibility to fuel companies to foot the bill for the repairs, they in turn have refused, saying the problems are not their responsibility.

In the spring, an increasing number of ethanol cars were taken to garages with driving and starting problems. The problems appeared to be high sulphate concentrations in the ethanol clogging the fuel injector to the engine.

"There are cars that have driven flawlessly over 15 years," said Bertil Moldén, CEO of industry organisation Bil (Car) Sweden. "Since then, fuel companies have decided to buy cheaper ethanol with higher sulphate concentrations and suddenly, 1,000 cars stop working."

The repair bills for the car owners cost between 5,000 kronor ($683) to 15,000 kronor, according to Bil Sweden, which believes that the fuel companies should foot the bill.

However, the fuel companies insist they have not done anything wrong, according to Ulf Svahn, CEO of the Swedish Petroleum Institute. The car manufacturers have received the product they ordered, emphasised Svahn, who pointed out that no recommendations as to how much sulphate ethanol may contain exists.

Story continues below…

Saab has chosen to replace the parts for its affected customers, as well as Ford for drivers who have a valid warranty.

"We do not think that it is a product defect, but we have done it anyway," said Anna Müller, CEO of Ford in Sweden. "That does not mean that we agree that we shall bear the cost in the end."

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:27 July 23, 2010 by Swedesmith
It seems obvious to me that the fuel companies have supplied a flawed product and therefore are responsible for the damages.
14:39 July 23, 2010 by bob3000

They must have quality procedures in place and in this case they have failed - unless you believe Ulf Svahn.

It would be strange if there were not guidelines or a data sheet for ethanol, even bottled water has a element analysis.


Seems to discuss it.
15:14 July 23, 2010 by eZee.se
It would be nice if we could vote on this... in which case I would agree with the above, make the fuel companies pay for a faulty product.
18:29 July 23, 2010 by survivaltime
It not only damages car engines, but destroyed my friend's carburator in her lawnmower!! Not to mention, switching to the high-octane (premium) gas gets better mileage and in the end costs less than the cheap gas everyone thinks to use. it's a HUGE SCAM and people should beware of that!

22:08 July 23, 2010 by livewire
hmmm thats bizarre as the information sent out stated to us (a major car company) was that the contamination had come from poor processing/cleaning of transport vehicles and that the E85 fuel had been contaminated by the higher ethanol rated fuel for the city buses

heres a link to the statement from bil Sweden http://www.bilsweden.se/web/x_108_2.aspx

its obvious the cause of the problem is their resonsibilty they messed up, i also find it amazing that E85 fuel quality is not a certified product so it basically means they can get away with it http://www.bilsweden.se/web/x_100.aspx
16:33 July 24, 2010 by J Jack
Thank you local! You've answered my curiosity as to weather to convert my gas guzzling v6 3.6 fsi to ethanol for the winter. I'll may have to keep on siphoning my neighbors tank.
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