BRIGHTON, Colo. — Dozens of cars broke down last week after diesel and gasoline were mistakenly swapped at a Brighton gas station.
The mix-up occurred Dec. 20 between midnight and 9 a.m. at the King Soopers at the corner of East 160th Avenue and Bristlecone Street.
Jay Svanda of Brighton filled up at the station and could not figure out what was wrong with his Datsun 280Z.
“I thought my car had died. You know, it’s 40 years old, I thought it was time to send it to the graveyard,” said Svanda.
Then Svanda learned he unknowingly filled his gas-powered car with diesel at the King Soopers.
Svanda’s wife Cyndi said, “It’s been a challenge, to say the least. And now our car sits until it can be towed.”
King Soopers says its underground fuel tanks were mistakenly filled with the wrong fuel by an outside vendor.
Cammie Price filled up her diesel BMW 3 series before heading to the mountains with her family.
“We hadn’t even made it 15 miles down the road and my ‘check engine’ light came on, so we drove it home,” she said.
Price had no idea what had happened until she came across a social media page where others said the same thing happened to them.
“I was shocked that no notification had been made to any of the consumers. Had we not initiated contact, I would still be none the wiser,” said Price.
Fixing the problem can be expensive.
“There are times where you have to disconnect the fuel injector so you can pump out the contaminated fuel. I would say on the average it could cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000 to have it fixed,” Empire Lakewood Nissan Owner Chris Lenckosz said.
The cars’ owners said King Soopers will be paying for the repairs.
One rental car agency said it has rented out at least 30 cars to people with fuel mix-up problems.
King Soopers said the problem was fixed the same day. It also said anyone having similar problems should return to the store and ask to speak to management.