Fuel companies Z Energy, BP and Mobil are investigating a quality issue that affected petrol stations from mid November to December.
Inaccurate fuel gauge readings have been linked to fuel sold in Auckland, Fairfax reported.
A higher level of active sulphur in the fuel interfered with some vehicle components, said BP spokeswoman Leigh Taylor.
"As an industry we haven't seen anything like this before."
The issue included 91 and 95 octane fuels, Fairfax reported.
One driver ran out of fuel twice despite the fuel gauge indicating the car had a quarter of a tank remaining, and was advised to spend $450 on a new fuel pump.
Taylor said the effects could be delayed.
"If they have not driven it or it's taken a while to drive it a reasonable distance then they may be experiencing issues more recently."
Drivers concerned about their fuel gauges should contact the company from which they bought the fuel, Fairfax reported.