Woman says contaminated gas from metro Atlanta Costco led to $700 bill — and they won’t pay it

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — A metro Atlanta woman says she got contaminated gas at a Sandy Springs Costco and the retail giant won’t do anything to help with the $700 bill to fix her car.

“The engine light started flashing and the car started shaking. So, I got super scared. I turned around and came back to my driveway,” Michelle Robinovitz told Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray.

At a Volkswagen dealer, they diagnosed the problem as bad gasoline. The mechanic even recorded a video showing that the fuel was contaminated with water.

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“They were like, you have bad gas. We have to drain all the gas and put in new gas and clean everything out before we do that,” she said.

Robinovitz says she knows where the gas came from because it is the only place she and her family buy gas -- the Sandy Springs Costco.

She had just filled up the day before the car started experiencing problems.

Until this, Robinovitz was a big Costco fan. Even the coat she wore during her interview with Gray, was from Costco.


“So, I went straight to Costco thinking that they would stand behind their product and they did not,” Robinovitz said.

Even though Robinovitz provided Costco with the video from her mechanic and the proof she purchased the gas at Costco, they denied her claim.

We showed the video from Robinovitz’s mechanic to the head of Georgia’s Fuel and Measures division at the Department of Agriculture, Doug Killingsworth.

Fuel and Measures regulates the state’s more than 100,000 gas pumps.

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Killingsworth said he could tell by sight that it was bad gas.

“That sample, I can promise you, would fail, but that is what we call an unofficial sample,” he told Gray.

Killingsworth says if you suspect contaminated gas, you should report it to the Fuel and Measures division of the Department of Agriculture immediately.

“If they call us that day, we can be on-site that same day. We have done that before and found major issues and were able to clean things up very quickly,” Killingsworth said.

In 2023, Fuel and Measures received 809 complaints and confirmed 547 of those had contaminated or sub-standard fuel.

“Number one, call us and call us in a timely manner. I mean, don’t wait. You know, if your vehicle’s given an issue, don’t wait two days, five days,” he said.

Robinovitz didn’t know to call fuel and measures back on January 4th.

She thought Costco would step up and take care of the $700 repair bill.

“For them just to dismiss me like that, I know it could not have only been me. I got it on the fourth. This happened on the fifth. I am sure other people had problems,” Robinovitz said.

Channel 2 Action News first started trying to reach Costco for comment last week. We are still waiting for a response.

Fuel and Measures says if you file a complaint, not only will they shut down a pump until it is fixed, but they can provide you official test results for the gas that can be used in any claim for damages.