Gas mix-up leaves woman with costly repair

by: Erin Coleman Updated:

Gwinnett resident Mesha Thompson said the diesel fuel she pumped into her 2004 Jaguar due to Marathon's gas mix-up left her with $400 in repairs.


Buford, Ga. - A Gwinnett County woman says a gas mix-up left her with a costly repair.

Mesha Thompson said she thought she pumped premium gas into her 2004 Jaguar last Thursday at the Marathon gas station at 2275 Buford Highway in Buford. Instead, it turned out to be diesel.

Her repair bill of $407.40 called for mechanics to flush her entire fuel system.

"I had to think about it for a moment, and I said I am not crazy enough to put diesel in my tank," Thompson told Channel 2's Erin Coleman.

Meanwhile, a Marathon official proved she wasn't crazy, after admitting diesel fuel was accidentally put into the underground premium tank.

The mix-up meant all eight premium pumps that draw from the tank dispensed diesel fuel.

"Usually you'll see heavy smoke out of the tail pipe as the first indicator," Buford mechanic Steve Damus of Motorheads Garage said.

Damus, who has been in the business 34 years, said he has seen the problem many times.

"It's a thicker fuel so it doesn't work well," he said. "Fuel filters, fuel pumps, fuel injectors, so it creates many problems."

The Marathon spokesperson said the company agreed to foot the bill for Thompson and for any other driver who may have been affected by the mix-up.


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Each Marathon station is independently operated, and the Buford location was the only one affected, officials said. So far, the company has received fewer than five claims, the official adds.

Although Thompson's car is back to normal, she said mechanics warned that she could face problems down the road.

"Now I'm going to be paranoid every time I pump gas, because we don't know what we're pumping into these cars. I don't know if it's premium," she said.

Other drivers who believe they were affected by the gas mix-up can call the Marathon Petroleum Corporation at 1-866-462-7284.


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