‘Tainted gas’: Fuel mix-up at local gas station is costing drivers thousands in repairs

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Speedway gas station in Avon Lake

AVON LAKE, Ohio (WJW) – A fuel mix-up at a local gas station is costing some drivers thousands of dollars in repairs.

The phones were ringing off the hook Wednesday at Automotive Specialty Services in Avon Lake.

“We started getting calls Tuesday morning about no-starts, stalling. Upon diagnosis, we discovered there was fuel contamination,” said service advisor Casey Fields.

Drivers are concerned after learning of a fuel mix-up that occurred sometime Monday at the Speedway on Walker Road.

“We have a text alert system to our clients letting them know this happened.  We have received 80 to 100 phone calls from people that they got gas at that local gas station,” said Fields.

Justin McElhannon of Avon Lake said he got gas there Monday night.

“Tuesday morning, I went to leave and my car was off to a really rough start. It was barely going and I didn’t even make it a mile before it wouldn’t go any further,” he said.

His car was towed to Automotive Specialty Services where they discovered the problem.

“Usually when it comes to contamination, it comes from the introduction of diesel fuel,” said Fields.

To fix it, McElhannon’s gas tank and fuel lines had to be drained and flushed.

“The fuel system has to be cleaned, fuel injectors. A Lot of times, spark plugs have to be replaced. In his case, his fuel pump was ruined,” said Fields.

“The estimated quote was just under $2,500, so it hurt,” said McElhannon.

FOX 8 reached out to Speedway’s parent company, 7-11, who confirmed the fuel mix-up.

“On Tuesday, Nov. 9, we received reports of tainted gas and took immediate action to stop sales of gasoline. We have closed gas operations to remove and dispose of tainted gasoline. We plan to re-open gas operations after corrections are completed.” said the company in a statement.

Meanwhile, the repair shop is warning people who pumped gas there Monday and Tuesday that they might not experience car problems until later down the road.

“Is it stumbling, stalling? That is a number one concern. If it is not, keep an eye on things,” said Fields.

 McElhannon said right now, he has to pay for the repairs out of pocket. However, he has opened a claim with Speedway to hopefully get reimbursed

Customers who believe their car was impacted should call 1-800-643-1948.

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