Refinery refuses to pay Farmington woman for damage caused by bad gas

Created: 05/19/2014 6:51 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Running out of gas is one of Ursula Messano's worst fears. On the way back from Albuquerque, she was worried that was what was happening.

"The gauge said full but it didn't want to go." She said the car was jerking along the road and making a lot of noise.

That's what she said happened shortly after she filled up at a Giant gas station in Bernalillo.

"The engine is sorta sputtering and I'm thinking, 'My goodness!', cause my car is only one year old."

A trip to the dealership and more than $500 later, they told her the problem wasn't the car, but the gas.

"Extremely lean fuel, perform fuel quality test, failed 78 percent alcohol," She read off the dealership's diagnosis.

The dealership found 78 percent of what Messano put in her car was not gas.

"I trusted this retailer. I trusted that I would get good gas. I was wrong."

So she asked fuel supplier, Western Refining to pay for the repairs.

"And they said, well we really don't think that was our fault, but we will pay you half."

Messano says half is not enough.

"I feel like I just got the shaft cause there is no way I can make up this money."

With the price of gas so high already, Messano says she will be even more careful where she gets gas from now on.

"I paid what? ($3.50) a gallon. Whoa, man! There is no way in the world that I will shop for gas in Bernalillo at that station ever again."

KOB Eyewitness News Four left three messages with Western Refining, requesting an interview. None of the messages were returned.

In an email to Messano, Western Refining admitted to eight complaints regarding gas from that station.

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