A CHAUFFEUR who bought contaminated fuel from a Basildon garage stood at the pumps and warned others not to fill up until staff turned them off.

Phillip Cameron, 52, of Grange Avenue, Wickford, broke down while driving off the forecourt at Tesco, in Mayflower Retail Park.

On Wednesday, the Echo reported Tesco admitted the diesel had been contaminated by water because of a leaky tank, and the problem has now been fixed.

Mr Phillips filled his Mercedes with £80 of diesel on January 9, the day Tesco says the problem was reported, when his engine conked out as he drove away.

He said: “I’ve got knowledge of mechanics and I immediately thought there was something wrong with the fuel.”

He went into the shop to report the problem and claims staff told him there was nothing wrong with the fuel, but he then met another man who had filled up before and had also broken down on the forecourt.

He called the AA and decided to warn others while he waited for recovery.

He said: “Every time someone came along I said ‘Don’t use the diesel tank’. The staff then came out and turned all the diesel pumps off.”

Mr Phillips forked out £790 to have his car’s tank drained and parts checked.

He could not work for three days while it was being repaired, as he needs his car to work as a chauffeur in Canary Wharf, London.

Mr Phillips has complained to Tesco about the damage, but is yet to hear back.

Tesco said it will pick up repair costs for any customers affected and is offering to pay for hire cars while vehicles are fixed.

A spokesman for the supermarket chain said: “We would urge any customers who think they may have been affected to contact the store.”