Bad gas causes breakdowns in Del.

May 6, 2009 3:45:19 PM PDT
Drivers in Delaware never suspected that they would break down right after filling up.It happened to a few people who gassed up with what turned out to be contaminated fuel at local gas stations.

"Yesterday I went to to the Exxon to fill up. I left Exxon, went a quarter mile down the road, and it just started to 'putt-putt' and it just cut off," said Paula Epps of Middletown.

When we met Paula Epps, she was walking. She couldn't drive her normally smooth running 2008 Honda Pilot, because it was in the shop.

On Monday morning, she filled up at an Exxon in Middletown, but she didn't go far. He SUV broke down and she started to walk back to the station.

That's when she noticed she was not alone.

"There were, like, four other cars broken down in that same area, within that quarter mile," Epps said.

The bad gas came from the Valero refinery in Delaware City. The theory is distribution tanks along the way switched from a winter blend to a summer blend and contained enough water to contaminate the fuel, which was then sold at the Exxon and a nearby Wawa.

The impacted stations moved quickly, pumping out the watered-down gas. They will also pay repair bills of about two dozen stranded motorists.

"Its already paid for," said Epps. "I'm very pleased."

By Tuesday afternoon Epps' Honda had been repaired and was ready to go.

AAA says contaminated gas can be costly. Fixing the damage can cost anywhere from $300 to $3,000. It took about $500 in repairs to get Paul Epps back on the road.

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