Kum & Go says April fuel incident due to cross drop, affecting more than 100 vehicles | CraigDailyPress.com

Kum & Go says April fuel incident due to cross drop, affecting more than 100 vehicles

Company spokesman declined to provide the total payout in claims filed by customers

Pumps at the north Kum & Go at 895 Yampa Avenue are back in order Thursday afternoon, April 22. (Joshua Carney / Craig Press File)

April’s fuel incident at the Kum & Go located at 895 Yampa Ave. that affected more than 100 vehicles in Moffat County is being chalked up to a cross drop of diesel fuel into regular gas tanks.

According to a spokesman from the company, the cross drop led to the more than 100 vehicles being affected, causing the vehicles to sputter, fail to start, or run improperly, leading to a overload of local mechanic’s shops in the area trying to correct the problem.

In total, 115 people filed claims with Kum & Go due to the cross drop in mid-April, which a Kum & Go spokesperson said it is doing everything possible to correct the problem and make things right for those affected.

“The root cause of the incident was a cross drop (diesel fuel dropped in the gas tank),“ Kum & Go spokesman Ariel Rubin said. ”Corrective action with the transport provided was taken. To date, we have paid 53 claims, with 62 claims still pending.”

While Kum & Go is calling it a cross drop with diesel fuel into the gas tank, Brandon Bullock, a mechanic with Victory Motors, stated that he believed it was not diesel fuel based off of the 15-20 vehicles they serviced following the incident.

“What we could tell, it was not diesel fuel,” Bullock said. “We determined it was phase separation was what caused the issue, which led to contaminated fuel and gave the vehicles issues. We had to drain the fuel, and on a few vehicles had to replace a couple of spark plugs.”

Victory Motors was just one of the service shops that saw numerous vehicles experiencing issues following the fuel mishap. As the mechanics in town tried to get vehicles back up and running as quickly as possible, many of those affected said they were pleased overall with the way Kum & Go handled the claims and took care of everything.

Susie Crawford, who was traveling to Casper, Wyoming when she started having car trouble after filling up with gas at the north Kum & Go, was very pleased with the response time from the company, and the professionalism the third-party company handling the claims showed.

“It was Creative Solutions that stepped in; they were quick and very professional, easy to work with and very supportive,” Crawford said. “As far as I know, they reimbursed me for the fuel that was wasted, while Victory Motors ended up working with them directly on towing, labor, and whatever else my vehicle needed.”

Crawford’s vehicle was fixed and back to her by the end of April, with no future issues. Still, she says she’s still not certain what the issue was.

“Never had confirmation exactly what it was, but what they did with my vehicle, I’m quite certain it was diesel,” Crawford said.

Jacqueline Rutledge was in the process of moving to Craig from Texas when she started having trouble with her vehicle, which began sputtering and wouldn’t start right away after being shut off.

Rutledge quickly had her vehicle towed to Cook Chevrolet before filing a claim with Kum & Go. Three days later, she received a check paying for the bad fuel and reimbursing her for the work done to her vehicle.

They were pretty great about reimbursing me,“ Rutledge said. ”It was very standup of them. I had a pretty good experience overall with Kum & Go.“

Despite the quick response time by Kum & Go and the great work done by Cook Chevrolet, Rutledge — much like Crawford — is still unsure of the issue.

“Cook Chevrolet emptied the tank, cleaned the tank, flushed the system, put new gas in and tested it,” she said. “They said it was phase separation, and had nothing to do with diesel, so who knows.”

As for Errol Ormesher, who filled up with gas at the north Kum & Go on April 16 and immediately noticed issues with his truck, he was very pleased overall with the response from Kum & Go.

“As far as the claim went, it was super smooth,” Ormesher said. “They coordinated well with Elkhead Collision on it and didn’t have any arguments on paying roughly $750 for a full cleanse as well as new filters. They also paid back the cost of the fuel as well, which came in the mail on Friday.”

Despite the incident with the fuel at the north Kum & Go, Ormesher said he’s not hesitant to fill up there again.

“I’m not too worried; I’m sure they’ll be a lot more watchful,” Ormesher said. “When you got 82 vehicles at, let’s say an average of $500 each to fix, you’re looking at a $41,000 mistake, so I see them taking extra precautions in the future to keep it from happening again.“

Managing Editor Joshua Carney can be reached at 970-875-1790 or jcarney@craigdailypress.com.

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