CONTAMINATED fuel in South East England is causing fury amongst motorists after hundreds of vehicles have been damaged.

Drivers are reporting numerous problems with their cars including a loss of power. Other problems include cars being slow and shaky.

Many members of the public who have complained have revealed that they purchased their petrol from chain stores Tesco and Morrisons. Trading Standards have now launched an investigation into why motorists were able to purchase the contaminated fuel which is said to have contained ethanol which is an alternative to gasoline.

Jill Hallas, 30, a housewife from Green Close, High Wycombe, may now have to pay out more than £200 after her oxygen sensor on her Hyundai Trajet was damaged by abnormal fuel.

Her husband Simon, 31, filled up their tank at Tesco in Amersham and soon after the problems began. Mrs Hallas says the engine light in her car is now constantly lit and her car has slowed down. She has also been left furious after finding out her warranty and insurance will not cover her for the damage.

The mother of four to Josh, 14, Lauren, ten, Ben, eight and Isabelle, two, added:"We feel really let down. My car is essential and now we've found out why this has happened I feel like I have been slapped in the face. We feel like we are in a no win situation and don't know how to get our money back."

However, Tesco say they have currently found no abnormalities or contamination in their fuel.

A spokesman for Tesco added:" We have had a number of reports from motorists who claim to be experiencing problems after filling-up with fuel at Tesco forecourts and we are aware that customers of other supermarkets have also reported difficulties. The problems all appear to be linked to forecourts in the south east of the country which are served by a refinery in Essex."

Currently more tests are being carried out on fuel and the spokesman added: "So far we have not discovered any abnormalities or contamination whatsoever. Whilst we cannot currently trace any problem back to Tesco fuel we will of course continue to urgently work with our supplier to identify what might be behind it. If we discover any problem with our fuel we will inform customers immediately and act quickly to put it right."