Bad fuel exposes vulnerability of computer-controlled cars

A bad batch of fuel that apparently contained a little silicon has sidelined if not damaged a number of late-model vehicles in England. The fuel didn't harm old cars but new vehicles with computer controls and delicate sensors were confused. Many shut down completely or went into a "limp home" mode that allows only minimum speed. In some cases, the sensors were damaged and needed replacement. Safety officials are warning motorists not to attempt draining their fuel tanks for fear of causing an explosion or fire. The problem petrol stations have been identified and their tanks have had the contamination cleared.

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