A fuel mix up is causing engine problems for dozens of Ottawa drivers and headaches for the gas station where this happened. MacEwen Gas says an underground tank was accidentally filled with diesel instead of regular gas at one of its stations.  About seventy drivers so far have reported problems after filling up with gas Friday at the station at Mitch Owens and Albion Roads. It's a costly mistake that MacEwen is promising to pay for.  

Ottawa driver Jamie Haas is down to one vehicle now after his wife's car died Friday night.  Haas says she had stopped just before at the MacEwen gas station to fill her car with what she thought was unleaded gas. She barely made it home.

“I went out to investigate myself,” says Haas. “She wouldn't start, wouldn't stay started so Monday morning I brought it to my mechanic at Doval Automotive.”

And that's where it’s been since, alongside another vehicle that came in at the same time with the same symptoms.

“I realized both cars were full with gas,” says mechanic and owner Doval Drew.  “So I said where did they get this gas? I put one and one together and figured there's a problem with the gas.”

The General Manager of MacEwen Petroleum says an independent driver put diesel fuel into the underground unleaded gasoline tank while making a delivery on Friday.  So far about seventy customers have called to report problems.  MacEwen says it will pay for repairs.

“As the customers call us and report the issue” says Peter MacEwen, “we are asking them to send the receipts of any expenses they’ve incurred on their vehicle and we are compensating the customers for those expenses.”

The underground tanks are clearly marked:  yellow is for diesel and white is for unleaded.  Peter MacEwen says mix-ups rarely happen but says if they do, the driver delivering the product is quick to notice the mistake.  That did not happen this time.

In January, a Co-op station in Calgary had a similar problem affecting several hundred drivers. And earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama’s limousine was grounded on an official visit to Israel, after the limo driver couldn't figure out whether the limo needed diesel or regular gas.

Haas says he is still waiting to hear back from MacEwen about his $400 bill.  He says this incident may determine where he stops for gas next time.

“That’s a big mistake to make to put diesel fuel in an unleaded tank,” says Haas, “and hopefully their quality assurance measures will improve after this to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

MacEwen says anyone who filled up at the Albion and Mitch Owens station either Friday evening or early Saturday and is having engine issues should contact their toll free number at 1-800-267-7175.