SNELLVILLE, Ga. - It was an error which may be causing problems for unsuspecting motorists. The Atlanta based RaceTrac Corporation told FOX 5 New gasoline was mistakenly placed into the diesel tank at a Snellville station on Scenic Highway.
For customer John Phillips, who owns Philips Towing, the bad fuel mix is hurting business. He said one of his drivers topped off one of the company tow trucks at the RaceTrac on Scenic Highway last Saturday and quickly realized something was wrong.
“He drove to Decatur to finish the call he was on drove back approximately thirty miles and said the truck quit running. The engine needs to be replaced,” said Phillips. “Roughly $24,000 from an estimate.”
RaceTrac confirms to FOX 5 News there was a “fuel mix up” of gasoline into the wrong tank last Friday. A spokesperson said as soon as it was brought to their attention Monday, Labor Day, RaceTrac emptied, cleaned and refilled the tanks with the correct fuel. But a week after the mix up the diesel is still not flowing at the RaceTrac.
“They took samples of the diesel fuel and it was contaminated,” said Richard Lewis, head of Fuels and Measures, with Georgia's Department of Agriculture which regulates fuels in Georgia.
Lewis said the diesel appeared to be about a fifty-fifty mix with gasoline when his inspectors first checked Tuesday. They’ve since re-inspected the diesel supply several times this week, but the quality so far has not passed inspection. He said Mr. Phillips is the only consumer who has filed an official complaint, but is unsure how many other customers might have bought the bad fuel.
“That's a good question, that's a good question. I don't know,” said Lewis.
The Phillips kept receipts and estimates for their repairs and are working with RaceTrac to have their tow truck fixed.
The Atlanta-based company released a statement which read in part:
“RaceTrac has a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on our fuel. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our guests and will work to make it right. If a guest feels they have experienced damage to their car as a result of this mix-up or they have any issues or questions about their experience, we encourage them to contact our Guest Engagement hotline...”
“Hopefully the news gets it out there and people come forward and they realize how to get their car fixed and be able to get paid for it by somebody else instead of them accumulating the bills themselves,” said Phillips.
RaceTrac said each fuel claim will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Customers who feel they may be affected are asked to call RaceTrac at 888-638-5539, Monday through Friday during business hours.