MacEwen Petroleum is offering to pay the cost of repairs to the vehicles of about 70 customers after a contractor mistakenly filled the gasoline pumps at the Greely station with diesel fuel.
The company said the incident happened Friday afternoon at the Albion Road station when the contractor mistook the white cap for the connector to the gasoline pumps for the yellow cap of the diesel pumps.
About 8,000 litres of diesel fuel was put into a gasoline tank already holding about 20,000 litres of gasoline.
If concentrated, diesel can cause a gas car to break down completely, and when mixed with gas, it can produce black smoke and cause stalling.
Corey Martin, 19, filled up his Chevy Cobalt at 10 p.m. Friday night and was surprised when it sputtered to a halt after gassing up.
Cost of repair about $200
"Next day on Saturday leaving for work and I start my car and the RPMs are going up and down, it won't start, and smoke is coming out of the exhaust and kept shutting off," said Martin. "And I'm like, yeah, I'm not driving this."
Local garage owner Joe Graham said he's been cleaning out the cars ever since, with many of them towed after breaking down near the gas station.
Graham said he's been draining tanks and fuel lines and refilling with proper fuel to find out if the vehicle is working properly. The cost of the procedure is about $200.
MacEwen's said it will cover the whole bill.
The worker with the independent company that provided the fuel has been taken off the road, according to MacEwen general manager Peter MacEwen.