Motorists fume after Ottawa gas station's diesel-gas mix-up
OTTAWA -- Motorists who filled up at a Barrhaven Petro Canada Monday night or early Tuesday morning may want to check their vehicle.
Suncor, the company that owns Petro Canada, tells CTV News Ottawa diesel was incorrectly mixed with regular fuel at the station at Fallowfield and Greenbank Roads earlier this week.
"We are aware of the fuel issue at the Greenbank and Fallowfield location in Ottawa, which occurred overnight on Nov. 16," said a statement from Suncor Wednesday afternoon.
"Once the issue was identified on Nov. 17, we immediately closed the pump. We are taking it very seriously, working directly with any impacted customers, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused."
Suncor tells CTV News Ottawa that the timeframe for the issue was between 6 p.m. Nov. 16 and 11 a.m. on Nov. 17.
"Diesel was incorrectly put into the wrong tank and mixed with regular fuel, which caused the issue. The regular fuel pumps (87, 89 and 91) were impacted, and the impacted pumps were immediately closed and flushed out," said Suncor in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.
Suncor says motorists should contact the company if they have concerns about the fuel.
"Any customers who feel they may have been impacted are asked to call our customer service team (1-800-668-0220)."
Automotive expert Mohamed Bouchama with carhelpcanada.com says you should tow your car right away if you filled up at the station.
"You can’t drive it. As soon as your engine realizes it’s the wrong gas; that’s it, the engine is not going to work," said Bouchama who appears on CP24's show "Autoshop."
“What you have to do, is take it to a place where they can flush it, immediately. (they will) flush it, clean it, and then fill it up."
Adam McLean tells Newstalk 580 CFRA he filled up at the Barrhaven Petro Canada at 8 p.m. Monday, and had no problems getting home.
"So the next morning, I'm going to leave my garage to go to work, the car started up, kind of sputtered and then stalled. It did that once more and then it wouldn't start at all," said McLean.
"It just kind of was dead in the water, no hope. Every time I turned the key over it sounded like it wanted to start, but it just wouldn't."
Allison Monahan tells Newstalk 580 CFRA as she was heading out Christmas shopping with her mom the morning after filling up the gas tank, there was not much power in the car.
"So we made it around the corner, so maybe a block, two blocks away, and then I was stopped at the red light at Foxfield and Greenbank and it stopped, it stalled," said Monahan.
"Tried starting it, it would start and then within a minute it would stop again. So I tried a few times to get it going and forget it, it didn't work."
Mohanan tells CTV News Ottawa when her son filled up the gas tank Monday night; he noticed several cars parked around the station.
"He says he found it strange, because when he went to get the gas, he said there was four or five other cars around all stalled."
McLean tells Newstalk 580 CFRA it will cost up to $2,000 to fix his vehicle, while Monahan said the fuel mix-up would cost $750 to fix.
On Facebook, Jayden Mackenzie said, "Filled up last night around 10:45 p.m. and broke down not even five minutes later. I saw three cars breakdown when I was being towed back home."
Adam Mclean wrote, "Filled up last night at this location. Car would not start this morning and is now in the shop for an unknown amount of time. Car was in good health before hand. Who can I contact at Petro to proceed with that?"
Bouchama tells CTV News Ottawa that putting gasoline in a diesel car would be much worse.
"When you put gas in a diesel, it’s going to affect the pump; it’s going to affect the injectors – and those are very expensive items to fix."
Bochama recommends always getting a receipt when you fill up, so if the fuel mix-up ever happens it's easier to prove to the gas station you filled up.
Suncor says it does not how many cars were affected by the fuel mix-up.
"It happens, I mean, people make mistakes. All I want is for Petro-Can to pay for damages- that's it, that's all," said Monahan.