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Archive for Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Contaminated fuel sold at Lawrence gas station

Unleaded fuel contained diesel; customers to be reimbursed

A fuel shipment received Sunday night at the Commerce Plaza BP, 3020 Iowa, caused problems for a few motorists who purchased the improperly mixed fuel.

June 25, 2008, 11:06 a.m. Updated June 26, 2008, 12:00 a.m.

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Tainted fuel at the Commerce Plaza BP, 3020 Iowa, was sold to some customers Sunday evening. The regular unleaded gasoline that was delivered to the gas station had been contaminated with diesel fuel, which caused some cars to stop working. The tainted gas tank and lines at the station were flushed out and the tank was refilled. Customers experiencing problems after using the fuel have been told to take their vehicles in for service. The company will investigate each claim before reimbursing customers.

Tainted fuel at the Commerce Plaza BP, 3020 Iowa, was sold to some customers Sunday evening. The regular unleaded gasoline that was delivered to the gas station had been contaminated with diesel fuel, which caused some cars to stop working. The tainted gas tank and lines at the station were flushed out and the tank was refilled. Customers experiencing problems after using the fuel have been told to take their vehicles in for service. The company will investigate each claim before reimbursing customers.

A Lawrence gas station last weekend received contaminated gasoline, which has caused car engine problems for some customers who filled up there.

The Commerce Plaza BP, 3020 Iowa, received the impure shipment Sunday night, June 22. The regular gasoline that was delivered to the gas station had been mixed with diesel fuel, said BP Amoco spokesman Scott Dean.

Now, BP has offered to pay for repairs to the cars damaged by the faulty fuel.

"We are paying to have affected customer's vehicles' fuel systems flushed, fuel filters replaced and tanks refilled with new gasoline," said BP spokesman Scott Dean. "We apologize for any inconvenience."

The contaminated fuel was also delivered to the BP at 3000 NW Topeka Blvd., in Topeka, and to stations at Fort Leavenworth and in Hillsdale, in Miami County, Dean said. The problem only affected unleaded regular gasoline, not premium or mid-grade gas.

The faulty fuel was dispensed at the Lawrence station, just north of 31st and Iowa Streets, between 6:15 p.m. June 22, when the gas was unloaded, and 7 p.m., when the station realized there was a problem and quit selling the gas, said Gary Haag, store owner. Two Lawrence customers had complained by 6:45 p.m. Sunday evening, when their cars stopped working completely.

"We didn't know what the hell was going on," Haag said. "We knew something was wrong."

The problems began at BP's storage terminal in Sugar Creek, Mo., where 15,000 barrels of diesel fuel from Tulsa, Okla. were inadvertently pumped into a tank carrying 45,000 barrels of unleaded gas, Dean said. Four to five truckloads of gas from the contaminated tank were shipped out from the depot before the problem was caught.

"Fortunately we did catch it very quickly," Dean said. "I haven't seen anything like this happen in six years. It's very rare, but when it does happen we take it very seriously."

More than 10 customers had reported problems with their cars by Monday morning, after using the fuel from the Lawrence station, Haag said.

"We're getting 10 times more calls today," he said Wednesday. "It's unfortunate and we're very, very sorry."

A Kansas City television station aired a report about the contaminated gasoline Tuesday night.

The gas tank and lines at the station were flushed out and the tank was refilled Tuesday afternoon. The station sold a higher-grade gas at a lower cost until the problem was resolved, said Haag.

Customers experiencing car problems after using the fuel have been told to take their cars to any mechanic for service. The company will thoroughly investigate each claim, before reimbursing customers. BP is also working with the stores to notify customers who used credit cards at the stations that their cars should be checked by a mechanic.

Midas Auto Service Experts, 2801 Iowa, said about four of the symptomatic cars were brought in for service. The company drained fuel tanks, replaced fuel filters and cleaned the fuel injection systems on the cars impacted.

BP urges customers who fueled their cars with regular gasoline at any of the four stations between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. and had car problems to call customer relations at 1-800-333-3991. The tainted fuel was sold at the Topeka station between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday, said Haag, who oversees fuel distribution for the Topeka and Lawrence stations.

Comments

blackcats 5 years, 9 months ago

Well at least BP stands behind their product. This is not true of Zarco. Back in January I got gas and then got in the carwash line. My car started sputtering and died. I had to have it towed to my dealership. The gas tested with water in it. I called the owner, Zaremba, who was rude I might add. He denied it could be his gas and wondered how I knew it was his gas. Well I only had about 2 gallons of gas in my car before filling it up. The dealership tested the gas. Very clear cut. Anyway I had to file a claim. Their claim rep was a total jerk. Drug me through the mud asking a bunch of questions like what was I wearing and saying he couldn't find my car on the security tape. I never understood the doubt as I had a receipt with a time/date stamp on it. Well he finally found my car on the tap after he realized he was looking at the wrong date. So he processed my claim of almost $400 in repairs only to deny it saying no one else had complained so it couldn't be true. So I ate the $400. So, buyer beware. I will never do business with any gas station associated with Zarco or Zaremba. With gas so expensive we have to have each other's back.

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0118 5 years, 9 months ago

and 7 p.m., when the station realized there was a problem and quit selling the gas,-----------------If they quited selling gas at 7pm, is that mean you can't get gas after 7pm?

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Haiku_for_You 5 years, 9 months ago

I cannot believeno one's made the obvious"I got bad gas" joke.

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jrlii 5 years, 9 months ago

Contaminated delivery? I suppose it could happen, but the delivery driver hooking up the diesel hose to a gas tank is more likely.As much of a pain as diesel in a gas engine can be, gas in a diesel is much worse: Diesels afflicted with gas can over rev and throw rods if they aren't shut down immediately. Gas in the fuel can ruin injector pumps in short order, too.

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Poon 5 years, 9 months ago

I guarantee you that this was Topeka gas or Kansas City gas. We could never have dysfunctional gas in Lawrence

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compmd 5 years, 9 months ago

I wonder what the ratio of diesel to gasoline was. If it was less than 1/3 diesel, it might have been fun to kick the turbo on my gasser up to 18 lbs and just drive around like a crazy person for a few days racing Porsches.Also, that station is only one of three places in town you can get 92 octane gasoline.

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Motivation 5 years, 9 months ago

Can't believe we are paying almost $4 per gallon for gasoline that contaminates our vehicle fuel system. Hope they are paying for the rental cars to get the people to and from work also!!

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clarkentsman 5 years, 9 months ago

lawrenceguy40 - wow just think I could have driven more and lost less.I really didn't even lose that much because gas was only about $1.20. I guess I was either green before my time or a tight as .

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 9 months ago

lawrenceguy40..I love typo fun!1) "priciple": due to talking about the price of gas?2) "your priciple was almost correct (in more ways than one).": that's just ironically funny in more ways than one.Thanks for the great post, and the unintentional smiles.=========dancemomx2..Once is fine, but if you ever catch yourself thinking exactly like me a second time...(I'm sure many on here will agree with me)Seek help, your life can be better!

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Sheila Hooper White 5 years, 9 months ago

multi - i was thinking of the exact same thing when i read this.

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lawrenceguy40 5 years, 9 months ago

Clarkentsman - I have good news for you. You are better off losing 10% fuel economy on a 45mpg car than a 20 mpg car. Do the math. Say you want to drive 100 miles. At 45 mpg you use 2.22 gallons. If you get 10% less mpg (40.5mpg) you will use 2.47 gallons, a difference of 0.25 gallons. So you have to spend $3.80 Ã 0.25 = 95c extra.Do the same for 20 mpg. To drive 100 miles you will use 5 gallons. At 18 mpg (10% less mpg) you will use 5.56 gallons, a difference of 0.56 gallons. That will cost you an extra $3.80 Ã 0.56 = $2.13. So you never lost as much as you thought! Those mpg are tricky things to get your head round, but your priciple was almost correct (in more ways than one).

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cool 5 years, 9 months ago

BP is 92% from Saudi gasoline.Citgo, Phillips 66, Conoco/Phillips are the largest domestic produced oil. buy from them FIRST.

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igby 5 years, 9 months ago

1/3 diesel mixed with gas used to be what we would run in older cars and trucks that had worn out rings and leaking vale stem seals. It works good on burnt vales and babbit main motors of the late 1940's and early 1950's. Smokes like a freight train!Fuel injectors may not handle the extra oil and detergents.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm surprised the 'life saving cold storage section" from the Commerce Plaza wasn't listed as historic and not torn down.If anything deserved reverence in this town, it was those coolers, and the man who ran in telling customers to take shelter in them during the tornado.

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Sheila Hooper White 5 years, 9 months ago

srj- probably not. this station is in such a strange place now. I like the old commerce plaza.

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Steve Jacob 5 years, 9 months ago

Will people reading this ever buy gas from there again?

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canusayduh 5 years, 9 months ago

they were aware of the situation before 10pm. we were there by 8 and customers were complaining about their cars not starting after they filled up, so we left to fill up somewhere else. but i agree...at least they are trying to make it right by the people that did buy their gas.

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clarkentsman 5 years, 9 months ago

I never buy gas there! I would buy gas there when it was the Plaza Station on the corner of 31st & Iowa in the 1980's and get lower gas milage. I had a Honda CRX that got 45+ miles to the gallon. When I would buy from them it would be 40 or slightly lower. 10-15%% at 20 mpg is one thing 10-15% at 45 mpg is more noticable. I realize that now its a BP and BP controls the quality of fuel things are different - it's the priciple.

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DonQuipunch 5 years, 9 months ago

Um, no. Most places would do exactly what they're doing in an effort to avoid bad PR and potential lawsuits.

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Ragingbear 5 years, 9 months ago

"We are paying to have affected customer's vehicles' fuel systems flushed, fuel filters replaced and tanks refilled with new gasoline,"Well, at least they are working to make it right. Most places would go "Oh well. Sucks to be you. Please come again!".

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Robert bickers 5 years, 9 months ago

Up at the top left of the screen, in the blue bar at the top.

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dougmarshall 5 years, 9 months ago

how do you log in without making a comment on the article?

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