Damaged cars after Tyler gas station fills gas pumps with diesel

Damaged cars after Tyler gas station fills gas pumps with diesel

TYLER (KYTX) - Cars across the Tyler area badly damaged, after a local gas station puts diesel in the regular gas pumps.

The pumps at the CEFCO on Troup Highway in Tyler are open now. Thursday and earlier in the day Friday, they were closed and covered with 'out of service' signs.

CBS 19 made numerous calls to the CEFCO corporate office to ask how diesel ended up in the regular pumps, and how the pumps were fixed, but no one ever answered or called back. 

Turns out, we're not the only ones looking for answers. 

"No one has called me and they were supposed to call me," says Johnnie Harris as she wells up with tears of frustration.

She wants to know how diesel ended up in her car. She gassed up Wednesday at the Troup Highway CEFCO.

"It smoked really bad," she says.

Her car broke down on the street, so she had it towed to the shop.

"I said how bad is it? He said bad," she says.

Teenager Patrick Mahomes is in the same boat. He went to the same gas station on Wednesday, and now his car is at the Crown Volkswagen dealership, with more than $700 worth of damage.

"I tried to back out of my driveway and my car completely started shaking, and the next day when I tried to drive it again it died and smoke came out of the engine," Mahomes says.

His car is now one of six that have been towed to Crown with what Service Director Sean Brady calls contaminated fuel.

"They keep on rolling in," he says.

Brady says putting diesel in a gas tank can ruin your car.

"It will run bad, it will smoke a lot, it will wipe out the plugs, spark plugs will be gone pretty quick, the fuel filter needs to be replaced," he says.

When they fix cars with diesel in them, they have to remove the gas tank, drain and flush all of the gas out of it. What Brady drained from most of the 6 cars was a greenish fuel - a mix of regular gas and diesel. 

If this has happened to you, Brady says pay attention to how the car runs even after it's fixed. Diesel can cause more problems down the line.

"In the future you could run into problems with the catalytic converter plugging up because of the stuff that went through it," he says.

That's something that worries Harris.

"I hope they'll get me a car because I'm going to be afraid of this one the rest of my life! I wont know how much damage it's done to the motor," Harris says.

Mahomes says he'll pay close attention when he finally gets his car back. What he's hoping for now, is a reimbursement for the damages. 

Mahomes says he went back to the CEFCO station Thursday, filled out some paperwork and was told he'd be paid back for the damages. 

That's not what Harris was told Friday, but in the end both will have to wait to hear from CEFCO corporate for a confirmation.

CBS 19 called all the big dealerships in town. Aside from the six at Crown, two other dealerships say they each have seen one case. They all expect there to be far more cases in the area, most likely at smaller auto body shops. 

A service employee at one of the local dealerships says she hasn't seen any diesel in gas tanks but several people from Canton have come in with water in their gas tanks. 

So if your car is starting to shake, smoke, or act strange, have it towed in. Don't take the chance of driving it. 


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