contamination with water was to blame for bringing dozens of motorists to a standstill after filling up at a supermarket garage, say store bosses.
Almost 30 cars were damaged by petrol bought at Sainsbury’s in Cramlington, pictured.
A further ten cars were damaged by the same batch of contaminated fuel at another Sainsbury’s store, in Pity Me, County Durham.
The supermarket has now issued an apology to all the motorists affected and has agreed to pay for repairs to their cars.
A spokesperson for the supermarket chain said: “We supply several billion litres of fuel a year from our 262 petrol stations, and our fuel suppliers have stringent processes in place to ensure our fuel is both high quality and reliable.
“Regrettably, a systems fault at our supplier meant that a small number of drivers experienced mechanical problems after using our petrol station in Cramlington.
“As soon as we became aware of this, we closed the petrol station and reopened only when we were sure the problem had been dealt with.
“We have apologised to the drivers concerned for the inconvenience caused and paid the repair costs for the affected cars.
“We have now added further checks to the supplier’s processes to ensure that this cannot happen again.”