State investigation shows Douglasville station's gas was mostly water

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. — A state inspection report reveals a Douglasville gas station was selling premium gas with 60%-70% water content, confirming a Channel 2 viewer's suspicion following his car troubles.

Jason Davis struggled to get his BMW 750 from the King's Food Mart at 4661 King's Highway to his Douglasville home last week.

By the end of the 5-mile drive, he realized he needed a tow truck.

"I'm pressing the button, and the engine's just turning over, and I'm like, ‘I'm gonna tear my starter up.'"

Davis told Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr that he'd prepaid and pumped $50 worth of premium gas into the car before it started acting up.

A diagnostic report by Braxton Automotive confirmed "bad fuel" had been siphoned from the tank.

On Friday morning, Carr got a copy of an Agriculture Department investigation that Davis requested.

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It confirmed the gas station was selling premium grade that was 60%-70% water. This led to a stop-sale order, with the department placing signs over the plus and premium grades Thursday.

"I want to be reimbursed for my time and trouble, and I want my repairs to be reimbursed," said Davis, noting he worries about the possibility of transmission replacement following $1,100 worth of repairs.

Davis said the gas station owner tried to fault him for the repairs, pointing out the receipt showed he'd sold him regular grade. But the receipt proves the gas was prepaid, and the station printed "regular" on the receipt before Davis even got to the pump. He says he pumped premium, and that's why the state tested that grade upon his request.

"Your gas has water in it, and that's what damaged my car," Davis said.

When Carr showed up at the station Friday, a man who identified himself as the owner and a colleague told Channel 2 a different story.

They're now saying their insurance company will be contacting Davis for repair reimbursement soon.

The men declined to explain on camera but told Carr they'd stopped selling the bad gas July 24, two days after Davis pumped the premium grade. They didn't explain how they knew the fuel was contaminated before the state's Aug. 1 inspection but said they suspected they had a supplier issue.

They admitted other customers had threatened to go to police on them, and another customer told a Channel 2 photojournalist that his friend had experienced a similar problem in recent days following a fuel purchase at King's Food Mart.

The gas station owners said they expect fuel reinspection from the state next week, and Davis said he hopes he gets that call from their insurance company.

"I don't want people in the community going and putting contaminated gas in (their) cars."