Cars break down after filling up at Redmond gas station

Customers, others say water in gasoline to blame

Customers say they received water in...

REDMOND, Ore. - Several cars are in the shop after filling up at the Chevron gas station on Highway 97 in Redmond.

"The symptoms all point to water in the fuel tank,” Randy White, service manager of Wright Ford, said Wednesday.

Jorilynn Messner is one of the customers who experienced problems shortly after she hit the pump.

"The guy from the towing company told me he had towed, including myself, four people yesterday, and then another (company) had towed two, and another company other than that had towed one person, all buying gas from the same gas station,” she said.

One vehicle was taken to Smolich Motors in Bend and tested to confirm the diagnosis.

"We drained a quart of gasoline out of the car, and then put it in a clear container. The gas and the water separates and the gas goes to the top,” said Service Manager Scott Joens. “The water stays at the bottom. So we ended up with 80 percent water-based liquid, versus the fuel on top."

The water seeped into one of the two gas storage tanks at the station due to a malfunctioning turbine.

Messner said she knew something was wrong early on.

"It was misfiring, and all of a sudden I was getting lots of electronic signals about check emission, check your power steering system and check your traction control,” she said, “and I started having a little bit of a panic attack."

White said they have two cars that were taken to the shop after fueling up at that Chevron, and he’s taken about a half a dozen calls about the problem.

Messner has contacted the station manager about the issue.

"On an individual basis, of course I expect them to reimburse me fully, pay for my towing and then pay for any issues derived from the car," she said. "But on top of that, I'd like them to address the community and acknowledge this is a problem.”

NewsChannel 21 reached out to the Chevron station for a comment, but they declined to do so.

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