Gas station's fuel mix-up proving costly for customers

Last week the Ultramar gas station in Prescott, Ont., mistakenly filled its gas tanks with diesel fuel instead of regular gas. Now some customers are paying hundreds of dollars in repairs.

Motorists who unwittingly filled up with diesel at Prescott, Ont., Ultramar on hook for expensive repairs

The Ultramar gas station in Prescott accidentally filled its gas tanks will diesel fuel instead of regular gas last week. (CBC)

Some motorists who filled up at the Ultramar gas station in Prescott, Ont., last week have had to deal with costly repairs after the station's gas tanks were mistakenly filled with diesel fuel. 

On Jan. 17, Ultramar said it became aware that the gas tanks at the Prescott location off of Highway 401 had been accidentally filled with diesel instead of regular gas. Motorists may be able to drive off after filling with diesel, but it won't be long before their vehicle's engine sputters and they are calling a tow truck.

That's what happened to Shona Durocher. She filled her F-150 truck at the Prescott Ultramar last Wednesday. By the following evening her vehicle had stopped working. 

She paid hundreds of dollars to have her truck towed to a nearby Ford dealership in Brockville, Ont., where they identified the problem and drained the diesel out of her tank and refilled it with regular gas. 

"I can just imagine all the other cars that have had issues," Durocher said.

She said while she was at the dealership, other vehicles were coming in with the same problem. 

Compensated for damages

Ultramar in a statement apologized "for any inconvenience" and said it has refilled its gas tanks with the proper fuel at the Prescott location.

Customers affected should send in their names and contact information to the Prescott gas station to be compensated for any damages, the company said. 

Durocher said she was told to take photocopies of her receipts and send them to the gas station for reimbursement but said the company hasn't told her how long it will take to get her money back.

Shona Durocher had to pay a couple hundred dollars to get her truck repaired after the Ultramar in Prescott accidentally filled its gas tanks with Diesel fuel. (Shona Durocher)

She also has to bring her car back in for a full system check because her check engine light has come back on. 

"It's affecting people's lives," said Durocher, who added many people in that area live in the country and can't rely on public transit if their car isn't working.

Dealership repairs 15 cars

Durocher is not the only one who has had issues.

Riverside Buick GMC, a dealership in Prescott, had 15 vehicles come in with mechanical problems in the past week because they were filled with diesel fuel, according to owner Stuart Birnie.

Half of them had to be towed in, and all had to be drained and refilled with regular gas. Birnie said these repairs cost on average $150 to $200 per vehicle.