Our Southern California culture revolves around automobiles, driving, and ultimately GAS. Think about how much time and how many $ you spend at gas stations filling up that tank again and again and again. I have always searched for the lowest priced gas. Other people fill up anywhere regardless of price. I didn't care about anything other than price until I started researching this article. Now I'm discovering there are a lot of disturbing hidden issues that go way beyond the cost of putting a nozzle in your tank. For instance...
On December 3, at 10:41 AM, Cathey Bishop, a single mom of 3 from Fullerton, needed to fill up her brand new 2013 Hyundai Elantra with gas. The tank was almost empty, and she was worried about running out. She went to the closest station near where she lived, the Super 8 in Fullerton at 1108 W. Commonwealth Ave (Commonwealth and Orange). The car has only 2,000 miles on it. She filled up the tank with 13 gallons of premium (See Pic).
Coincidentally, this Super 8 station had the lowest priced Regular Unleaded gas in Orange County at $3.35 a gallon. I was told by the man at the counter that they had just reopened that day after being shut down for a month and a half to repair pipes underneath the station. The low gas price was being used as an inducement to bring back customers. After filling up, Cathey drove approximately 1 mile, and her new car suddenly broke down on the 91 freeway at Brookhurst. The vehicle barely made it to the exit ramp before it dangerously stalled in the face of oncoming traffic. CalTrans rescued her 10 minutes later, and towed the car off the Freeway. It was then towed to Garden Grove Hyundai.
Their service department checked the engine, and determined that the cause of the problem was the gas from the Super 8 Station that she had just put in her gas tank. The dealership showed her a giant test tube sample of what she had just put in her car. They said that the contents of the gas were 95% water! (See Pic of Test Tube on next page. Discolored gas is at the top)
The Service Department told her that the damage caused to the tank of her new vehicle by Super 8's alleged watered down petrol was $350 to repair. It was not covered by her warranty. She had to rent a car costing an additional $50, as well as paying the initial $45.77 fill up. Total damages: $445.77.
Cathey returned to Super 8 the next day, Wednesday 12/4, with her receipt for the gas and talked to Omar, the owner. She asked to be reimbursed for the damages to her car. Omar said "no", and disputed her facts. He showed her a printed invoice of where he bought the gas shipment for his station from, and the printout said 0 water. He was willing to give her a copy, but would not agree to any reimbursement. Omar told her, "Maybe the Hyundai dealership put the water in." The Garden Grove Hyundai Service spokesperson laughed when told this.
"Oh yeah a multimillion dollar dealership would do that. They towed her car to us not running with a complete full tank of whatever it is. How would we have put the water in there anyhow? The whole thing is just crazy."
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In the meantime, Super 8 stays open for business, continuing to offer gas at $3.35 a gallon, the lowest price in Orange County. Could one of their pipes that was being repaired potentially have a water leak? Hmmmmm. Does the situation go higher and deeper than this one incident at the Super 8 location? Has this happened to anybody else? If any of you have additional information or problems with this station or any others, please contact me. To Be Continued...
Contact the Poorman: Facebook: Jim Poorman Trenton, Twitter: @Poorman1. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell phone: (949) 870-6155.