Cars break down after diesel, gas mistakenly swapped at Boulder gas station

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BOULDER, Colo. — Dozens of drivers in Boulder County are dealing with major car problems after unknowingly filling their cars with diesel.

The mix-up reportedly happening at a Circle K near Folsom Street and Pearl Street in Boulder.

Dani Alexander says she filled up her 2015 Subaru Forester at the station on Wednesday.

“I got gas and about three blocks later, my car started lugging and chugging,” said Alexander. “It’s a really good car and I just got it tuned up on Friday.”

Alexander thought her repair shop had forgotten to attach a line, so she called for a tow.

“The tow truck driver stopped the car, and said, ‘you’re the second person I’ve towed this afternoon with that problem,'” said Alexander.

Alexander called Circle K, which referred her to Travelers Insurance. The insurance company has agreed to pay for the $1,100 car repair, the tow and the tank of gas.

“They did admit it was their mistake,” said Alexander. “That they had been delivered bad gas that had diesel in it, and that’s where the plumes of black smoke were coming from.”

But Alexander and others in a Facebook group devoted to the issue are hoping to be reimbursed for lost wages as well.

“We’re all kind of having the same process of trying to get our money,” she said. “That’s a tricky thing because not everybody is salaried and I had to leave work to go get my car towed because I’m a single mom.”

She’s also worried about problems arising down the road from the mix-up.

“I’m concerned about the future because my car just got paid for. It’s a good car and I can’t buy another car, so if something goes wrong down the line, will they reimburse me for that?” she asked.

Gas mix-ups have been a problem along the Front Range in recent weeks, with dozens of customers experiencing similar mechanical problems after filling up at a Brighton King Soopers. 

King Soopers says its underground fuel tanks were mistakenly filled with the wrong fuel by an outside vendor.

Circle K did not return calls Friday night, but Alexander says insurance agents have told her a similar mix-up happened in this scenario.

Matthew Bordonaro with Travelers Insurance says the company is currently processing a number of claims.

“Each claim is being evaluated on its own, and we are working closely with the individual claimants on this,” he wrote in an email to FOX31.

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