Owners of damaged vehicles scoff at paltry compensation
Tainted Guyoil fuel…
Although Guyana Oil Company (Guyoil) has been reimbursing motorists whose vehicles were damaged by tainted gasoline from the company’s Essequibo Coast outlet, those who have suffered losses say that the $10,000 being offered is inadequate.
Several vehicle owners have disclosed that due to the severity of the problem with the tainted oil, their vehicle engines have suffered significant damage which cannot be rectified with a mere $10,000.
Mini-bus operator, Dennis Benjamin, of La Be Alliance, Essequibo Coast, displayed to this newspaper his damaged engine.
The frustrated driver said he is in the process of replacing a brand new engine that has been damaged. Benjamin added he has intentions of consulting his lawyers, since his financial expenses incurred have amounted to $600,000.
Benjamin has also lost a week’s work since his vehicle is still undergoing repairs. He maintains that Guyoil should deal with the issue of tainted oil more seriously, since vehicle owners were long supporting the company.
“For all these years we have been supporting Guyoil and they cannot bail out on us now when we have a serious problem.”
Benjamin, who works the Anna Regina to Charity route, said he has been a minibus driver for the past 15 years. He said his damaged engine is about three years old, with a ten-year warranty.
He recalled that he was driving with a ‘full load’ of passengers when his bus suddenly came to an abrupt halt. He argued that he had purchased two gallons of gasoline the same week he encountered that problem. Benjamin, whose engine valves were cut, added that the tainted oil would become very thin rendering severe problems to vehicle owners’ engines.
He said his engine was completely damaged, forcing him to purchase another engine.
But Benjamin said that a senior Guyoil official told him that the company cannot replace damaged engines, but would give the affected drivers a $10,000 voucher to compensate for damages incurred.
It is still unclear how the fuel became contaminated.
During the past two weeks, Guyoil’s Adventure branch was busily compensating drivers with $10,000 vouchers.
However, while the main focus was centered on vehicles, speed boat operators had also complained of experiencing problems with their engines.
Guyoil has since replaced the tainted oil at the affected outlets.