The moment five litres of paint ‘exploded’ in Kate’s car - causing £2,000 plus worth of damage and an apology from B&Q

Damage caused to inside of Kate Patten's family car by an exploding paint tin

Damage caused to inside of Kate Patten's family car by an exploding paint tin - Credit: Archant

Mum of four Kate Patten is calling for an inquiry by B&Q to find out how a five litre tin of paint they mixed for her on Friday, ‘exploded’ in her car 10 minutes later.

First estimate of repairing the interior of her £25,000 Ford S-MAX Titanium X Sport has come in at over £2,000 – yet she says the store has only offered her replacement paint and a free valet.

She believes the assistant who served her should have put clips onto the paint lid to ensure any built up air couldn’t escape and force the top to come of – which it did just a short distance from the B&Q Cambridge store.

Mrs Patten said she has visited the store numerous times for paint in recent years as she and her builder husband John carry out improvements to their Soham home.

“I went in as normal, took a sample of the wallpaper with me that I needed for a colour match, and paid £43 for five litres of the paint that they mixed,” she said.

“I watched it being done and just as it came out the assistant started texting on his people – that annoyed me but I bit my tongue, paid and left,” she said.

She got to the McDonalds roundabout when her daughter, 4, screamed out in the back seat near to where Kate had put the paint.

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“There was paint everywhere – and I mean everywhere,” said Mrs Patten who said she didn’t have time then to return to the store. Another of her children has learning disabilities and she needed to return to Soham to collect her.

“I phoned B&Q and spoke to a man, then it got what they called ‘escalated’ and eventually the store manager rang,” she said.

Later, she says, she got a call to say that as a “gesture the store would pay for valeting and give me a free tin of paint. I was furious”.

Her husband John believes the store should have put clips around the lid to ensure it travelled safely.

“When I got home from work and saw the extent of the damage I was staggered,” he said. “It’s completely ruined the inside of the car.”

Early estimates put the bill for repairs to at least £2,000 but he said it could exceed that if the paint has seeped into the electrics or other components.

The couple have notified their insurance company of the spillage but fear that if they have to make a claim it will cost them their £750 excess and increased premiums in future years.

“I want B&Q to acknowledge there is an issue and their CCTV can surely tell if the correct procedures were followed,” said Mr Patten.

A B&Q spokesman said: “We have apologised to Mrs Patten and have agreed to settle this through insurers.

“Once a customer has left the store we have no control over the handling of products that have been purchased, and the goods become the responsibility of the customer. “As a good will gesture, we will be honouring the store’s offer to refund the paint and have the vehicle valeted.”