Vietnamese drivers claim gas damages cars, demand answer

Thanh Nien News

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A car waits to be repaired at a garage in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Trung Hieu A car waits to be repaired at a garage in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Trung Hieu

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It has been very busy for many garages across Ho Chi Minh City the past few days. Since late January, they have been flooded with cars whose fuel supply systems were damaged, allegedly by low-quality gasoline. 
Nguyen Trung Kien, a senior engineer at a Mercedes-Benz garage in District 7, told Thanh Nien that 22 cars have been sent here with similar problems in their fuel systems this week.
Kien said all the drivers claimed that their cars broke down right after being filled with A95, the most popular gasoline grade in Vietnam. The gas is imported and distributed nationwide by state-owned giant Petrolimex. 
He said the repair could cost up to VND200 million (US$8,900) to have various parts in the fuel system, including the carburetor, filter and pump, replaced. 
A Toyota’s garage in District 1 said more than 20 cars have to be repaired for similar issues since late last month while a garage of Chevrolet in District 8 said they received four on Monday alone.
Tran Khai Minh said he filled his new Mercedes with A95 last Wednesday and soon later it did not run smoothly. He has sent the car to a garage and will have to spend VND165 million ($7,400) fixing the fuel system. 
If this is because of the gasoline, Petrolimex has to be held responsible, he said. 
“It’s not only the financial cost. So many cars broke down and now there's a backlog at the garages," he said. “They told me I can only get my car back after the Tet holiday. How will I travel during Tet?”
Dang Duy Quan, director of Petrolimex Saigon, said that his company has recalled the questionable batch of A95 gasoline totaling thousands of cubic meters, right after the problem was first reported. 
But somehow, even after the recall, several cars continued to have similar problems. 
Quan said official test results of the recalled product will be released soon.

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