Diesel fuel in regular tanks causes problems

Published 6:12 pm Thursday, December 18, 2008

Customers filling up their vehicles with regular unleaded gas at the Murphy USA gas station in front of the Walmart in the Colonial Promenade got an unwanted surprise Dec. 13 as the gas they thought was unleaded turned out to be diesel.

A refueling truck accidentally put diesel gas in the regular unleaded tank, causing many people’s vehicles to become disabled.

Trecia Franks of Wilsonville said she filled up Saturday afternoon and her son, Larry Franks Jr., filled up shortly after that. However, the tanker came rolling in as Trecia was leaving, meaning she got the regular gas and her son got the diesel.

Larry immediately began to notice the car sputtering, barely making it to Columbiana before finally having the car towed from Wilsonville to Ernest McCarty Ford in Alabaster.

A service advisor at Ernest McCarty said the business has seen 15-20 cases from the fuel mix-up. The service advisor also said Murphy USA has agreed to pay for all damages caused by the fuel mix-up.

Maintenance on each vehicle included anything from replacing spark plugs, fuel filters and draining the diesel fuel. The cost of each case has ranged from $200-500.

Repeated attempts to contact a Murphy USA spokesperson were unsuccessful. Messages left with Murphy USA have not been returned.