Last night, as is normal on a Sunday evening in my house, I had a relaxing evening watching BBC Top Gear. During the news section, Jeremy Clarkson smashed up an extremely annoying device with a light-sensor to detect when a car’s fuel filler cap is opened and warn you to use only diesel fuel.
I thought it was funny and that no-one would actually buy one, until this morning I received one in the post from the lease company that owns my company car along with a letter mandating that I fit it to the car and warning that I will be personally liable for any damage caused by any future misfuelling (I have, of course, told them that I will install the thing but have refused to comply with the liability part).
I understand why they are doing this – the AA motoring trust has produced a report which details the problem along with some interesting statistics about misfuelling call-outs. I also admit that I did previously (many years ago) accidentally put half a tank of petrol into a diesel car as well as nearly filling the tank of this car with petrol when it was new (on both occasions, I had been using a petrol car for the previous few weeks), but the lease company waited 6 weeks to send this to me and I definitely know to use diesel now!
Misfuelling may be expensive and embarrassing, but this thing is a) loud b) American c) tacky d) noise-polluting e) extremely embarrassing! If you don’t believe me, then listen to how it sounds yourself.
Add to that, I’ve had to fit this horrible thing to a car about which Clarkson wrote:
- “Youâ€™ve deliberately gone your own way, deliberately bought something that isnâ€™t a BMW or a Merc or an Audi. And in the process youâ€™ve ended up with something thatâ€™s not only a little bit different, but also rather good.”
I’m dreading my next visit to a filling station forecourt. As my wife said, at least it will be a talking point – let’s see if she still thinks that as she cowers down in the passenger seat pretending she’s not there.