KWQC Investigation: Tainted Fuel From Bettendorf Gas Station - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

KWQC Investigation: Tainted Fuel From Bettendorf Gas Station

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You trust that the gasoline you pump into your car will get you where you need to go but that's apparently not the case for some area drivers. KWQC is investigating possible tainted fuel from a Bettendorf gas station that may have sent many drivers straight to the service shop.

The problem is stemming from the Big 10 Mart, a BP station, at Middle and Devil's Glen Roads. More than a handful of cars have wound up at local service shops where mechanics discovered contaminated gas soon after drivers filled up at this station. It's causing cars to pretty much break down and now the search is on for the cause of the problem.

Within less than a mile of filling up their gas tank at the station several drivers tell KWQC that their vehicles started sputtering, even died. An employee at the gas station did confirm there is a problem. The silver grade pumps have been covered and out of order since Thursday and on Friday inspectors were seen on the property.

"99.99 percent of the time there isn't an issue but every once in a while something like this can occur. And it's usually no fault of anybody's, we usually can't track down why it occurred," said Mike Manahl, Bureau Chief of the Weights and Measures Bureau of the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

State inspectors will also come next week to look at the tanks and fuel pumps. Manahl says issues with contaminated gas are rare but it could be from the tanks, the tanker trucks, even pipeline.

"We'll try to trace it back to the source and see if we can figure out where this happened."

One driver tells KWQC that she immediately took her car right next door to the CarX service shop. In more than one vehicle, mechanics there say they've found fuel that was contaminated and discolored, possibly from some type of oil in the gasoline.

"What happens is you drain the fuel tank, put fresh fuel in, and it will start running properly." added Manahl.

Repairs are running about $1,000, though drivers say they may be compensated.

KWQC contacted BP and this was the response:

"Although this site is owned and operated by an independent reseller and we don't yet have any information about the situation on their property, we guarantee every gallon of gasoline sold that carries the BP brand. Any consumer who ever believes they are having vehicle problems related to BP-branded fuel should always call 1-800-333-3991 to speak with a customer service representative."

Gas stations are inspected annually. Last February no issues were found at the station in question. But Manahl says normally when one does arise fuel tanks in question are normally shut down until the problem is found and fixed.

If you encounter similar issues state inspectors say contact either the gas station directly or the department of agriculture to file a complaint. Click Here for that website.