Safeway Gas Mix Up Could Cost Thousands

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Alpha8472
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Safeway Gas Mix Up Could Cost Thousands

Post by Alpha8472 » January 7th, 2020, 2:38 pm

The Safeway Gas station in South Lake Tahoe, California sold contaminated gas December 30 through January 2. The diesel and gas were mixed up affecting all types of fuel.

This is causing auto repair shops all over the region to experience surges in car problems costing hundreds to thousands of dollars per vehicle.

I thought Safeway was low quality in the first place, but mistaking diesel for gasoline is a serious error.

Albertsons may just decide to sell off these gas stations since the brand is so tarnished now. I am never buying Safeway gas again.

Brian Lutz
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Re: Safeway Gas Mix Up Could Cost Thousands

Post by Brian Lutz » January 7th, 2020, 4:46 pm

Problems with the gas supply can happen to anyone. My dad's car got bad fuel from a Shell station that required his car to be towed off the side of the road to the dealer, and although there was no major long term damage, it was out of commission for a week while it was being repaired and the fuel system cleaned out. The gas was bad from the refinery (full of water and sediment), and hundreds of cars were affected throughout the region. Ironically, Safeway stations also got the same bad gas in that case, but it wasn't their fault.

storewanderer
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Re: Safeway Gas Mix Up Could Cost Thousands

Post by storewanderer » January 7th, 2020, 7:14 pm

To be fair the gas truck shows up at the gas station with a third party driver who is not employed by the gas station (in this case anyway- some legitimate chains like Maverik, Quik Trip, etc. have their own gas trucks with their own employees as truck drivers to deliver to the stations but in CA since there are so few corporate gas stations, everything is contracted out to third parties) and the driver gets out and opens up the cover to the tank and releases the gas into the underground tank.

These gas mix ups can happen a couple ways:
1. Wrong gas loaded into the gas truck at the gas storage terminal (so, probably not the truck driver's fault but could be)
2. Gas truck screws up and dumps the wrong fuel into the wrong tank (dumps unleaded into diesel tank - driver's fault)

Not really a scenario where it is the fault of the store selling the gas though. The store is far removed from the gas operation. The clerks inside just take the paperwork from the gas truck driver and that is it. The store employees have no involvement outside with the gas delivery.

Path of least resistance here is to not buy gas at stations that sell diesel. This way the worst that can happen is you get regular unleaded instead of super unleaded.

cjd
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Re: Safeway Gas Mix Up Could Cost Thousands

Post by cjd » February 1st, 2020, 6:50 am

About 10 years ago there was a station here that had been selling gas with water in it. It was so bad that people would fill up at the station and then break down right down the road. The station in question was one of the old run down Shell Farm Stores from the 80s. Shortly after the incident the Shell sign was covered up, and I'm not sure what ended up happening. In that case I wondered if it was old tanks that had allowed groundwater to seep in and they were not properly checking for water in the tanks.

The station since converted to the Chevron name.

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Re: Safeway Gas Mix Up Could Cost Thousands

Post by Super S » February 1st, 2020, 7:20 am

cjd wrote:
February 1st, 2020, 6:50 am
About 10 years ago there was a station here that had been selling gas with water in it. It was so bad that people would fill up at the station and then break down right down the road. The station in question was one of the old run down Shell Farm Stores from the 80s. Shortly after the incident the Shell sign was covered up, and I'm not sure what ended up happening. In that case I wondered if it was old tanks that had allowed groundwater to seep in and they were not properly checking for water in the tanks.

The station since converted to the Chevron name.
There was a period of time here in Washington in the early 1990s where it seemed every local gas station was replacing underground tanks. If I remember right it was a new environmental regulation, and many smaller stations disappeared. With that said, water in gas happens on occasion to this day. Sometimes covers aren't put back in place properly, and other factors come in to play with the amount of rain we get. About a year ago a neighbor was towed home shortly after filling up at Safeway. We dumped some gas in a jar and the water and gas separated and settled in a matter of minutes. Safeway had issues with their filters but they would not take responsibility beyond offering him another tank of gas. He had to pay for the rest of the repairs himself.

I also know of one instance where a Shell station had diesel added to the underground tank by mistake, which had an impact not only on customer cars but several cars that car dealerships filled up there after they were sold. A friend of mine was impacted. Shell (the company, not the station itself) stepped up and paid for the repairs in full and filled the tanks of the affected customers vehicles with premium.

In modern cars with fuel injection and no replaceable filter other than the one on the fuel pump inside the tank, it's worth it to me to spend a few cents more and know that if a problem arises with fuel quality they will stand behind their product.

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