A DOCTOR who paid nearly £20,000 for a brand new car can only take it for a spin once a week, for 40 minutes at a time - because he is allergic to it.
Dr Geoffrey Evans, 64, gets a “stinging, burning sensation” across his entire body every time he takes his £18,000 Audi A1 for a drive.
Dr Evans, from Barnsley, has a PHD in combustion chemistry, and says it is the formaldehyde found in the car’s upholstery and plastics which is the catalyst - despite being initially told by an Audi salesman that their cars did not contain the chemical.
He said: “Obviously, it is a nightmare. It’s not the best thing to come of buying a new car because I can’t use it that much.
“It’s bringing out all kinds of rashes which start burning at first, then the red spots appear.
“It has also made me have to bathe my eyelids twice a day to get rid of the terrible redness it gives my skin.
“I believe this allergy all started when I was handling chemicals on a daily basis working as a research chemist in the lab.
“You body is sometimes aware of the allergies and they can remain in your body. But it does not necessarily react with you straight away - only when you get run down.”
As soon as he bought his flash new vehicle in December, the retired research scientist said: “I got chronic eczema on my legs and it just sets off go red and burning when I get to it.
“All I wanted was a German car - and especially the Audi A1 - because they are reliable.
“I do love the car, but people need to be aware of the potential for the chemical to be present in new cars.”
Dr Evans says he is waiting to hear back from the Audi dealership to see if they can do to ease his plight.
He said that Audi have since confirmed they do have small amounts of the chemical in the plastics of their car.
He previously had a Rover 211 and had no problems until he decided on a new Audi A1 1.4 TFSI sportback.
Dr Evans also has trouble with various household items due to his chemical sensitivity such as shampoos, cleaning products and his hi-fi speakers - which cause him the same symptoms as his new car.
Audi have been contacted for a comment.