Tainted Fuel

5/11/2008 Fresno, CA -------------------------------------------------

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Engines were flushed and filters were replaced. And it's all due to regular unleaded pumps that turned out a diesel blend.

An investigation is underway at Kinder Morgan's fuel supply station in South Fresno where the mix up occurred.

General Manager Joe Ingalls says about 60 drivers came by his shop Saturday with tainted gasoline.

Car problems ranged from blue-grey smoke out of tail pipes to sputtering engines. "They bring it in we flush out all the old gas. We save it because it's contaminated. Then we put new gas in, replace the fuel filter and drive it around the block. It should be fine," said Ingalls.

What's not sitting fine with some motorists is the cost. It's anywhere from $150 to $350 to flush the tank.

One of those drivers who filled up with the diesel/unleaded mix was Larry Dixon. Dixon was on his way to work Friday after filling up at a nearby Valero gas station. "I was filling up early in the morning to come over here to Aqua Shi and then all of a sudden I didn't make it," exclaimed Dixon.

Dixon said staff at the Valero gas station helped him file a claim and get his car fixed.

Bad Bud's gas station at Herndon and Cedar is doing the same for its customers. Owner Lorie Collins says 450 people fueled up Friday during the fuel crisis. "Many people did receive the contaminated fuel however due to the amount of fuel they purchased and the amount of fuel existing in the tank they haven't really noticed any problem with their car," said Collins.

Bad Bud's was forced to flush 50,000 gallons of contaminated fuel. Late Saturday afternoon fuel trucks pulled away after refilling a majority of the station's tanks.

All of the contaminated fuel that's been flushed has been or will be returned to the fuel supplier. It will be broken down and separated so that it can go back out and sold as regular or diesel.

Email Action News if you filled you car with bad gas.

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