FOX 29 Investigates: More Motorists Report Getting Tainted Gas

Motorists step forward to tell FOX 29 Investigates they, too, got tainted gas from a local service station. It comes in the wake of a FOX 29 report just last month. Are drivers getting their repair costs covered, and what's the county doing about it?

More area motorists step forward to tell FOX 29 Investigates they, too, got tainted gas at a popular service station in the region.

Now, Camden County officials have conducted multiple tests, and one driver says she was turned in for insurance fraud.

Investigative Reporter Jeff Cole has our follow-up report.

It was May 2014 when Carol Bailey pulled her SUV into the Gulf on Route 73 North in Pennsauken, topped off her tank and drove out.

"Just as I pulled out from the gas station, about two feet or so, I start feeling the car start buckling," Bailey said, making the noise she heard.

Within moments, it quit, with its back end blocking traffic in the right lane.

"It was at peak hours too," Bailey said.

"You must have been scared," Cole said.

"Very scared," Bailey admitted.

"And really frightened," Cole said.

"Very scared, yes," Bailey said.

According to documents, a police officer pushed Bailey in her Mercedes to a nearby Dunkin' Donuts to get her off the busy highway.

Her mechanic pumped it out, which Bailey saved and hauled back to the gas station.

Bailey is one of several motorists who contacted FOX 29 Investigates after we revealed last month that two other motorists, Rebecca Ruiz and Freddie Sanchez, both filled-up with bad gas from the Gulf on Jan. 3, 2015.

WATCH ORIGINAL REPORT: FOX 29 Investigates: Motorists Say Station Sold Them Bad Gas

The station operator said a faulty cap on the tank was to blame, and he says it was repaired.

After we raised questions, the county sent in an inspector, who found a low octane reading and another problem. The station was slapped with a $2,700 fine, its third violation since 2011.

"I was shocked," said another motorist, Glenn Devitt. "You know, this is the first time that I had ever gotten bad gas."

Devitt contacted FOX 29 to say he, too, topped-off at the Gulf late on the afternoon of Jan. 3.

Eight hundred dollars in repairs later, the tainted gas was finally cleared from his Toyota.

He says he's been contacted by station operator Paul Singh, promising he'll cover his repair costs.

But that came after our broadcast.

"We left a message with him and heard nothing, no response back until your investigating report came out," Devitt said.

In late January, county inspectors were back testing fuel at the station. This time it passed, with no water in the gas and the proper octane.

"Fortunately they went to you, which in turn gave us the call," said Camden County Freeholder Carmen Rodriquez, adding that sometimes it takes a hammer to win compliance.

"Maybe they just realized, 'You know what? I can't stand another fine like this. I can't stand having this bad publicity. And, therefore, let me do the right thing.'"

But Bailey is not convinced.

"So, the gas station's insurer turned you in for insurance fraud, and what did you think of that?" Cole asked.

"I was like wow – wow, what is this?" Bailey said.

That's right, she says the station's insurance company, Selective Casualty, turned her in for alleged fraud.

It happened after the company denied her claim for $5,300 in repairs, car rental and body damage Bailey claimed her Mercedes sustained while being pushed off the road.

The company claimed her insurer was not responsible for the damage. It also cited a police report which states Bailey's SUV "rolled back" after being pushed into the Dunkin' Donuts lot and struck the police car.

Bailey met with an investigator from the New Jersey Bureau of Fraud Deterrence in Cherry Hill and eventually learned by voicemail she was cleared.

The message said, "It did close today, OK, against you. So, um, that's it. You know, you won't be hearing from me again, OK, you won't be here for fraud anymore, OK?"

As for her costs from the bad gas, she's been left holding the bag.

"Did you ever get anything?" Cole asked.

"Nothing, Bailey said.

"From the gas station?" Cole asked.

"Nothing," Bailey replied.

"Cover the gas, the repairs?" Cole followed-up.

"Not even the gas I bought, and that's the cheapest," Bailey said.

Bailey has received $734 from her insurance company.

Motorists Rebecca Ruiz and Glenn Devitt now have gotten checks from the gas station, while Freddie Sanchez is still battling to have his wife's lost wages covered.

On the telephone, station operator Paul Singh called the water in the gas an accident and said that he would cover all related costs even if his insurance company would not, Cole reported.

The Camden County Office of Weights & Measures is willing to assist motorists with concerns related to the bad gas. The office's phone number is 856-374-6001.

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