KIA Motors — corroded fuel tank and fuel sender unit
Mr Antonio Francisco
I am trying to contact the Senior Manager at KIA Customer care in Korea, but I am unable to obtain the right email address, if you can help me with my query I would very much appreciated as the Australian side of KIA Customer care have completely ignored my complaint.
I own a 2015 KIA Cerato 5 door Hatch vehicle ID. KNAFK516MF5420094.
On Thursday 16 February 2017, I decided to take a run to my local supermarket and got in the car and started the engine as usual and let the car warm up for a minute or two till the revs reduced and check the instruments on the dashboard to make sure all was good. I noticed that the petrol gauge was showing less than half a tank and thought it was odd because the previous day it showed three quarters of a tank and I hadn’t used the car. I drove to the supermarket done some shopping and got in the car and started the engine and looked at the gauge only to find that this time it was showing just under a quarter of a tank. I was puzzled and went straight home parked the car and decided to monitor the situation.
The next day Friday the 17 February, I once again had to go pay some bills late in the afternoon and got in the car and followed the same routine and noticed the gauge showing close to empty but decide to drive to it to the local shops, parked it and payed my bills. When I returned I was shocked when I looked at the gauge, the yellow/amber light was flashing, which I knew was a warning when the tank is almost empty.
I drove the car home and contacted my local dealer in Smeaton Way, Rockingham and described the problem and asked whether I could take the car there to get it checked, the receptionist informed me that it was late and as they did not work on Saturdays I should call back on Monday 20 February.
Early Monday 20 February I called and booked it for Thursday 23 February,
I drove to KIA Rockingham on Thursday 23 February and handed over the keys and was told I would be contacted if any problems arise.
About three hours later I got a phone call from Terry Ophorst with some totally unexpected news that shocked me. He explained to me that on inspection the tank had water contaminated fuel and that they needed to remove the fuel sender and tank for a closer look and if it was water contaminated fuel the KIA warranty wouldn’t cover the cost to fix it. I was in total shock hearing this and could not believe it. Terry explained that it was possible I purchased contaminated fuel from a service station. I explained to him that I only got my fuel from four local service stations and purchased my last fuel from a Caltex Service station nearby and hadn’t heard about contaminated fuel recently or ever.
Terry called me back later in the afternoon and explained that they had found water contaminated fuel in the tank, which resulted in catastrophic corrosion of the fuel sender and fuel tank and the cost to fix it would be $2300.00.
I had no choice but to pay the $2300.00 to fix the car but vowed to further investigate this issue specifically the four service stations I purchased the fuel from.
I contacted all four service stations and made a fuel contamination claim to investigate whether any water contaminated fuel had been sold at their fuel pumps going back to 12 May 2015, the day I received the car.
I received reports of their investigation from all four service stations and have attached them for your perusal. All claim there were no incidences of water contamination over the said period.
These results mean How? Where? and When? did the water get in the tank?
Since there are only two parties that handle the cars driving and maintenance, one of them is I and the other is KIA Rockingham. I only drive the car a few days a week and I can testify that the car is locked up every day and every night under a carport behind a 1.8m fence and it’s never been broken into, stolen or vandalised in any way or have I ever driven in the rain with its fuel cap open.
Since its unknown how contaminated fuel got in the tank KIA should not place the blame on me and make me pay for the repairs, instead KIA should take responsibility for the failure of their product and reimburse me for a total of $2300.00
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