Newton County

Drivers say cars had to be towed from gas station after pumping bad fuel

COVINGTON, Ga. — Several drivers told Channel 2 Action News that they broke down right after filling up at a local gas station Monday night.

Yellow bags now cover the pump handles at the Kroger Fuel Center on Highway 20 South in Covington. Drivers began calling the Channel 2 newsroom wanting to know who was going to fix their cars.

Kroger confirmed to Channel 2's Matt Johnson that the gas station received contaminated fuel. Johnson spoke with a handful of people whose cars were affected.

“We're getting smoke out the tailpipe and all. We don’t know what’s going on,” Robbie Webb said.

Webb and his wife Debbie left in a tow truck with their pickup truck on board three hours after filling up at the gas station.

Their truck stalled in the middle of Highway 20 South, so they went back to gas station for answers.

“He said a few words and I got a little angry and I went inside and that’s when the manager came out,” Debbie Webb said.

Soon, the Webbs told Johnson they were surrounded by about eight other drivers who were also complaining about bad fuel causing their cars to stall.


“I filled my gas tank full of water or whatever that is. It's not gas. It's not good gas,” Trea McClesky said.

McClesky said he was one of the first people to report issues at around 5 p.m. Monday

“The pumps were pumping very slow. They’re supposed to be fast when they’re full, but water's heavy. It was having trouble pumping.”

Johnson contacted Kroger for answers and a spokesperson confirmed a recent shipment of fuel contained water.

Around 8:30 p.m., Johnson said a Kroger inspector pulled up to the gas station.

Signs were also placed on the pumps to tell customers unleaded gas wasn’t for sale.

Meanwhile, affected drivers are expecting to be compensated for their troubles, while taking steps to not fall victim again.

“I got a newer vehicle and now I don’t know what’s wrong with it. I don’t know if the motor is going to be bad or what,” Robbie Webb told Johnson.

Kroger has vowed to take care of the repairs. A spokesperson said the contamination did not happen at the fuel center and they're working diligently to fix it.

Kroger also sent a tanker truck full of fuel that will likely be spending the night Monday wiping out the bad fuel at the gas station and replacing it with uncontaminated fuel.

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