ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Western Refining has now released a list of the 10 gas stations across New Mexico where it delivered contaminated fuel this week.
As one driver who filled up with the bad gas in Rio Rancho found out, what happened next was expensive.
"I'd barely made it through the intersection at 528, and it stalled right in the middle of the intersection," Melissa Pacheco told KRQE News 13. "I coaxed it off the road, and it wouldn't start back up"
She called a tow truck and became one of an unknown number of unsuspecting travelers pumping trouble into their tanks.
"We've got to get the bad fuel or water contamination out of there, so you got to drop the fuel tank," said Tim Scully, the service director at American Toyota. "Sometimes you got to flush the fuel lines, replace spark plugs, basically just clean all that out of there."
Western Refining conceded it delivered contaminated fuel mostly to Giant stations in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Gallup, Farmington, Aztec and Kirtland. It also went to the Pilot Travel Center in Jamestown, a major hub for travelers off Interstate 40 about 13 miles east of Gallup.
It's an expensive repair bill for those affected.
"It was kind of like being in an accident," Pacheco said. "It's an unexpected cost that just came up out of the blue, and it happened so quickly."
Pacheco said she shelled out $1,300.
"We're a two car family, and we needed our second vehicle," she continued. "So there wasn't really a question of whether we should pay the costs or not. It just had to be done."
Western Refining opened up a hotline for victims to file claims for reimbursements. Since Tuesday they've received roughly 175 calls.
In 2008 the company had a similar incident with a bad batch of fuel that contained diesel.
The New Mexico Department of Agriculture, which tests and certifies gas pumps and enforces petroleum standards, said these things happen.
"I don't think there's a history of negligence or anything like that," Katie Goetz of NMDA said. "It's worth noting that they took the proactive step of making sure that no more customers got this into their fuel tanks until the problem could be fixed."
Western Refining said it will reimburse customers who file claims within 24 to 48 hours.
All the gas stations were supposed to be up and running again by Friday night.
Western Refining listed these stations as receiving the contaminated gas:
- Rio Rancho - Giant 1050 N.M. 528
- Kirtland - 4151 U. S. Highway 64
- Jamestown - Pilot Truck Stop, I-40 exit 39 (Refinery)
- Aztec - 17401 U.S. Highway 550
- Gallup - U.S. Highway 491
- Gallup - 1730 S. 2nd Street
- Santa Fe - 2691 Sawmill Rd.
- Santa Fe - 1009 St. Francis Dr.
- Farmington - 5501 E. Main
- Albuquerque - Giant, 6570 Paradise Blvd. NW
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