In November 2017, Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Ltd. filed a complaint to Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) accusing fuel suppliers including local units of Shell, Total as well as Pakistan State Oil (PSO) that their additives appeared to be damaging engines in its vehicles.
It looks as if Honda’s claims were valid as test reports conducted on oil samples show that fuel suppliers in Pakistan are using certain chemicals to enhance the Research Octane Number (RON) required by the regulatory standards.
According to a media outlet, OGRA and Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP) have conducted tests on the petrol samples and have found an excessive presence of chemicals in petrol. This excessive amount of chemicals have been considered harmful to vehicles, the environment as well as human health. The report further states that these chemicals are being used by oil companies to increase the RON value at a lower cost.
According to Honda’s complaint in November 2017, the fuel samples from Shell Pakistan Ltd, Total Parco Pakistan Ltd and Pakistan State Oil Company Ltd showed levels of manganese of up to 53 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg), while the additive is deemed at a “danger level” at just 24 mg/kg. Honda Atlas had to discontinue their flagship 1.5 liter turbocharged Civic variant due to the adultered fuel which caused the engine, and its components to malfunction.
It is yet to be seen what action OGRA is going to take against the oil companies involved in selling substandard fuel in Pakistan. However earlier in November, A Honda official who asked not to be identified, told Reuters:
Now that Honda has formally complained, they may also follow suit.