Attorney General's office may need to respond to ‘bad gas’ complaints

Posted at: 10/10/2013 10:18 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

More and more metro area drivers are coming forward, telling KOB Eyewitness News 4 their cars have been damaged by contaminated gasoline sold at two area Giant gas stations.

But 4 On Your Side has learned the Attorney General's office still hasn't stepped in to help those consumers.

A spokesman for the AG's office tells KOB they haven't gotten a complaint yet. 

But after learning how the process works, we wondered if many of the folks affected even know how to file a complaint.

"I'm frustrated, I'm mad, I'm carless, and I could be jobless here soon," said Alesha Evans.

Evans didn't think she'd ever be here.

"I definitely don't have $1,800 just sitting around," she said.

Evans is staring down a $1,800 repair bill for her car. The fuel system is totally wrecked after she filled up her gas tank on Tuesday, unknowingly buying gallon upon gallon of contaminated fuel from a Giant station near her house.

"I thought I wanted to cry," she said. "I was sick to my stomach."

Evans has been on the phone with a hotline set up by Giant for claims from drivers affected by the tainted fuel.

But she says she feels trapped.

"They said it could take anywhere from 24 to 48 business hours," said Evans. "In my mind I'm like, that's a week."

She says a representative suggested she put her $1,800 bill on a credit card and wait for reimbursement.

"That's a huge thing to ask in this economy," she said.

We contacted the New Mexico Attorney General's office -- an agency tasked with consumer advocacy.

A spokesman says there's no investigation into what happened at those Giant stations, because no consumer complaints have been filed.

So after talking to us, Evans decided she'd file one.

"How many people have the time or the where-with-all to know this is where I go to file a complaint," she said. "I had no idea."

Evans filled out her complaint on Thursday evening, and she says she hopes more people do, too.

The Attorney General's office tells us they haven't even received consumer complaints on this matter from any other state agencies involved. Complaints can be filed directly with the AG's office by following this link: http://www.nmag.gov/consumer/file-a-complaint

Earlier Thursday we spoke with Western Refining, who owns Giant gas stations. The company says it is working hard to get claims processed, as they investigate what happened.

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