Tainted fuel causes thousands of dollars of damage to customers' vehicles

Tainted fuel causes thousands of dollars of damage to customers' vehicles

MARTINEZ, GA (WFXG) - John Gray is a regular at the Circle K on Old Evans Road in Martinez.

He's pumped air into his tires and diesel into his truck there many times, but when his company truck was filled at the gas station Thursday, it was with contaminated gas.

"Our foreman filled up one of our company diesels and put in the diesel and filled the truck up with gas, with regular gas," Gray, said.

Gray says the tainted diesel ruined the truck's injectors and caused $3,800 of damage.

On Tuesday, six days after the damage was done at the gas station, the diesel pumps were still closed because state officials were testing the fuel.

Circle K officials say the fuel became contaminated when a tanker driver put regular gas into the diesel fuel tanks and diesel fuel into regular gas tanks.

Rich Lewis, Georgia's Fuel and Measures director, says of the 7,500 gas stations in the state, this only happens about 10 times a year.

"This was just a sheer accident, there was no manhandling malpractice. It was just an accident and they have done everything to make things right with their customers," said Lewis.

Gray says Circle K is paying for the damage to his truck but he says it's hard to make up for the trouble it caused.

"I lost the truck for three to four days, work wise, so that was a terrible mistake," he said.

The mistake was caught after the tainted gas was sold for an hour; the tainted diesel was sold for a day.

Authorities believe several people bought the contaminated gas but so far they've only received one complaint.

Lewis says they're testing the gas and could reopen the diesel fuel pumps tomorrow.

Circle K is promising to reimburse customers whose vehicles have been damaged by the tainted fuel.