RETAIL giant Tesco has admitted diesel fuel sold at a Basildon garage was contaminated with water.

Diesel stored in a tank at the supermarket chain's filling station in Mayflower Retail Park, on Gardiners Link, became contaminated after a leak formed in the tank.

The problem was identified on January 9 and the contaminated diesel taken away for testing.

The tanks of affected vehicles may have to be drained and car parts checked, which can cost hundreds of pounds.

Stuart Williams, 36, of Victoria Avenue, Rayleigh, broke down on a roundabout after filling up his Audi A6 at the supermarket on January 9.

He said: "My car made it home and started that evening, then conked out about a mile-and-a-half from my house at the Carpenter's Arms roundabout.

"Luckily it was late at night and there wasn't much traffic about, but it was a bit concerning."

A recovery team retrieved his broken-down car and took it to an Audi garage, where they took a sample of the diesel away for testing and found it was contaminated.

Mr Williams had to fork out £635 to have his tank drained and parts checked - plus he had spent £80 on the conatiminated fuel and needed a hire car, provided by Audi, for four days while his car was fixed.

Tesco has said it will pick up repair costs for any customers affected by the contamination and is also offering to pay for hire cars until the vehicles have been fixed.

The tank was reopened on Monday following repairs and the other tanks were unaffected by the problem.

A spokesman for Tesco said "a couple" of motorists had complained about the problem so far, but urged others affected to get in touch.

He said: "The pump was closed immediately to allow us to investigate.

"We would urge any customers who think they may have been impacted to contact the store."

Have you been affected by the contamination? Call the Echo on 01268 469409 or email