Fraudsters at gas stations. And who will be responsible for surrogate fuel

Despite the tightened control over the quality of fuel in the past two years, the likelihood of a surrogate in Russia is still high. Another poison can kill the engine with a single refueling … What are the chances of bringing the seller to liability?

Many people think that the main thing is to keep checks after gas stations from the gas station. If the examination determines that the fuel in the tank is of poor quality, a check can be made against the check claims of the gas station. If the quality – let the dealer repairs the motor under warranty. This self-confidence arises from the fact that the consumer looks at the situation solely from his position.

However, one must understand that the automaker and seller of fuel also have the right to defense, including the presumption of innocence. To understand how they will defend themselves, we must put ourselves in their place and ask ourselves: how would I act in their place? After this it becomes clear that it is not so easy to make claims to them …

So, let’s consider the claims made by the consumer from the standpoint of conscientious (or trying to look bona fide) automaker and fuel seller.

Automakers: who would dump …

A warranty car with a “dead” engine will be brought first to one of your dealers. If the “autopsy” does not reveal an obvious factory defect, it does not recognize the case as guarantee. Accordingly, the expertise hired by the dealer will look for the cause of the breakdown in the customer’s area of ​​responsibility. Namely – in violation of the rules of operation, maintenance or use of poor-quality fuel.

As for fuel, it must comply with the requirements of the Technical Regulations of the Customs Union (hereinafter – technical regulations). And also – to the requirements of the car manufacturer, if they are stated in the manual and do not contradict the technical regulations.

Typically, automakers require the use of gasoline with a certain octane and diesel fuel with a certain cetane number. And some also fuel is not below a certain ecological class – today it is the fifth. Which is quite true, since many modern engines were originally designed for this class of fuel, and since July 2016 in Russia it is forbidden to sell fuel below Euro-5.

If an accredited laboratory determines that the fuel in the tank does not meet the requirements of the technical regulations or the automaker, you as an automaker have the opportunity to remove all responsibility. For this, it is necessary that the technical expertise confirm the causal relationship between the detected deviations of fuel from the norm and the resulting breakdown.

But it also happens that the fuel in the tank meets all the requirements, although the connection between the application of the surrogate and the breakdown is obvious. For example, the opening of the motor shows that the walls of the cylinders are tucked up by shards of the scattered catalyst, with the spark plugs with a red coating.

This means that the poured gasoline with the forbidden metal-containing additives – they form a reddish coating – worsened the work of the candles, because of which the fuel ceased to burn completely in the cylinders and began to burn out in the catalyst, gradually disabling it. After that, the caked catalyst crumbled and its fragments were tightened into cylinders (in some modes the motor makes a “back breath”).

But how to convict the consumer of using leaded poison, if at the moment the fuel in the tank is impeccable? Elementary. Examination takes scrapings from the walls of the combustion chamber or from spark plugs. If they detect traces of the presence of metal-containing additives, the responsibility of the automaker is removed …

The seller of fuel: try it, prove it!

If the owner has an expert opinion on the fact that the fuel in the tank does not meet the requirements of the technical regulations or the automaker, he will try to make claims to the filling station. Let’s consider two possible options.

As a fuel seller, you are completely uninteresting, what are the requirements of the car manufacturer. You are responsible only for ensuring that the quality of fuel meets the requirements of technical regulations and that its actual characteristics are consistent with those stated in the check and in the quality passport. For example, if the 92-th gasoline filled into the tank of the car meets the requirements of the technical regulations, and you did not try to sell it under the guise of the 95th, there can not be any claims to you.

If the consumer mistakenly filled in the 92nd gasoline instead of the 95th prescribed by the automaker, this is his problem, since he is responsible for the choice of fuel. And that the client did not try to shift responsibility for his mistake to the gas station by taking a check from the cash register at the cash register for 95th gasoline (there are also such cases of consumer extremism), you have a video recording at the ticket office and on each column around the clock …

Let’s say that a consumer kept a check from your gas station, an accredited laboratory issued a verdict that the fuel in the tank is a surrogate, and an independent technical examination confirmed that the engine was out of order due to fuel. It turns out that you need to fork out for repairs? In no case!

The poison could get into the tank at the previous or later refueling, which could happen at intervals of several hours from yours, and the checks from which the consumer has not saved. Or for some reason does not want to present them …

You certainly will not be responsible for the “foreign” fuel. You can be held accountable only if you can prove that the fuel with the detected deviations from the norm got into the tank of the injured car from your gas station. This can only be done in one way – compare the fuel samples from the tank and the gas station. But this is hardly possible.

The fact is that from the moment of loading the deceased car to the tow truck, at least a week passes before receiving the act of research of the fuel in the tank. During this time, any gas station has time to sell that old batch of fuel and get three or four of the following. And if the fuel that was fueled by the car, there is already no gas station in the tank – sorry, time is gone …

Even if the consumer arrives at the gas station an hour after refueling, you still do not threaten anything. If he takes a fished sample of the fuel (even with the recording of the procedure on video), your lawyer will ask: how can you prove that this test reached the laboratory?

In order for the consumer to prove this, the sampling of the fuel sample must be carried out according to the law. That is, in a knowingly clean and sealed container, in the presence of a representative of a gas station, with the drawing up of an appropriate act. And who is warned, he is known to be armed. If you deliberately trade a surrogate, the fuel sample will be of high quality – similar technologies have long been mastered by rogues …

What to do?

As you can see, the habit of keeping checks from the gas station does not at all guarantee that in the event of engine failure its repair or replacement will be paid by the automaker or refueler.

For the automaker, the main thing is to convince the consumer of the use of fuel that does not meet its requirements (and even better – the requirements of the technical regulations). In this case, it is absolutely not necessary that the poison was in the tank at the moment – examination in many cases can find even past “sins”. And even at least one tank of surrogate, which left traces in the engine, you probably burned …

Well, the kings of gas stations feel unpunished because they are very difficult to catch by the hand. In fact, only Rosstandart, an organization that is authorized to control the quality of fuel and which is not obliged to notify the personnel of the filling station about its intentions, if there were complaints from consumers, can do this. But even if you imagine that the inspector of Rosstandart after your complaint “will now give up everything” and rush to catch crooks, he probably will not have time …

An ordinary consumer can not prove the fault of a fuel seller. The maximum that you can do is to know in advance the requirements of the automaker for fuel, before each refueling to find out whether the fuel meets these requirements, at least according to documents, and refuel only at the proven gas stations of those oil companies you trust …

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