Mike Stevens | Mar 31, 2010

VACC AND RACV have today described the Federal Government's response to a fuel contamination scare in Victoria last year as "flawed" and "not good enough".

Around 130 vehicles were affected by the contaminated fuel, all of which were classified as repairable write-offs. Subsequent independent tests commissioned by the RACV and VACC determined that the fuel contained silicone oil.

Both organisations immediately called on the Federal Government to include silicone oil on the Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives, but a later government investigation found no evidence of silicone oil.

RACV Chief Engineer, Vehicles, Michael Case said the Federal Government’s decision showed blatant disregard for motorists whose cars were damaged by the contaminated fuel.

“Seven months after the fuel contamination crisis, motorists are still in the dark about how this contamination occurred and who is responsible for it,” Mr Case said.

“What is also frustrating is that this Government’s failure to protect motorists by changing its own guidelines leaves motorists in the same vulnerable position, if there is a repeat of the contamination."

Mr Case said the current Government guidelines on contaminated fuels are inadequate, adding that the Government must look to review its decision.

VACC Senior Manager for Government and Public Affairs, David Russell, said the Federal Government's decision to leave silicone oil off the Prohibited Fuel Additives list leaves motorists unprotected and responsible for monitoring fuel standards.

“Victoria’s Consumer Affairs Department has attempted to clarify the source of this contamination, and provide consumers with support, but this is a matter for the Federal Government to resolve.

“If the Federal Government fails to act because of bureaucratic red tape, motorists will be left to pick up the pieces and hope there is no repeat contamination. It is simply not good enough,” Mr Russell said.

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