Rumblings of serious problems with E5 are being echoed around the retail network following a spate of incidents where vehicles are breaking down

having just filled up with what is later discovered to be contaminated fuel. The problem seems to have affected retailers primarily supplied by BP, although it is thought to be industry wide.

One retailer suffering from "inexplicable" contamination problems, said their maintenance company reported receiving a lot of call-outs for similar problems. "They say they’ve never known anything like the number of these incidents from service stations that have never had a problem with water ingress before. Tank and line tests have not shown up any problem. The vast majority of retailers took the oil company advice and recently had all water removed."

A spokesman for BP said: "BP is aware of these issues and is working closely with the petrol stations involved and assisting in their investigations to understand the cause of the isolated incidents that have arisen. All BP products are routinely tested at terminals to ensure that they meet the required quality standards. We are confident the product delivered met the required specification."

He added that the oil company had advised retailers to use the Energy Institute ’guidance note for filling station operators on the introduction of E5 petrol and B5 diesel’.