While the world is trying to come to grips with pedal-gate, tiny Hong Kong is attempting an exorcism of its own gremlins: 18,000 (mostly Toyota Crown) taxis and 2,000 minibuses are propelled by LPG, liquefied petroleum gas. The gas is lugged around in a large tank housed in the trunk of the taxis, much to the chagrin of suitcase-schlepping tourists. The real problem is: The LPG mobiles are breaking down in wholesale fashion, China Daily reports. Hundreds a month.
The Hong Kong government set up a special task force to investigate. Nobody is blaming Toyota – this time.
Enraged taxi drivers point fingers at Sinopec, the mostly state-owned Chinese energy giant, which owns seven of the 12 dedicated LPG stations in Hong Kong. The drivers say, the Chinese gas is contaminated. The drivers boycotted Sinopec. The rivaling stations promptly ran out of gas.
Sinopec did react no different than car companies that are faced with unexplained ghosts. Sinopec pointed their fingers right back at the drivers and said they don’t maintain their vehicles properly.
Sinopec did their own testing of the gas, and found no problems. In the meantime, the Hong Kong government took samples and sent them to an independent laboratory in Germany for testing. Final results will be announced next week.