Report: #283817

Complaint Review: Stop In Food Stores - Petroleum Marketers - Exxon - Nationwide Agribusiness,

  • Submitted: Thu, November 08, 2007
  • Updated: Fri, November 09, 2007
  • Reported By: Roanoke Virginia
  • Stop In Food Stores - Petroleum Marketers - Exxon - Nationwide Agribusiness,
    Stop In Food Stores 3000 Ogden Road
    Roanoke, Virginia

Stop In Food Stores - Petroleum Marketers - Exxon - Nationwide Agribusiness, Bad Gas, Water in fuel, Expensive Vehicle Damage, Roanoke Virginia


*Consumer Suggestion: Some questions about, and some problems with your post.

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Repair Costs: $750.00
- Tow,
- Diagnostics,
- Fuel Pump ( Large amount of water in pump and fuel Line found)
- Fuel Filter (Water in filter)
- Spark Plugs, ( Water Fouled)
- Idler Pulley ( Damage Caused by Engine Severe Jerking)
- Serpintine Belt ( Stretched Belt Caused by Engine Severe Jerking)

9.23.07 I filled up my Ford Explorer SUV at the Exxon Stop In, #87, located at 815 Orange Ave NE Roanoke Virginia 24012 with 15.03 gal. of fuel from pump # 5 87 octane.

Immediately, vehicle had a loss of power and started to severly jerk, sputter;
it was as if the engine was going to come out of its engine mounts.

The noise from the engine became very loud at which point the vehicle died and had to be pushed out of the traffic on Orange Ave.
Prior to noted fuel purchase vehicle was running smoothly with no problems and a quarter tank of gas in it.

At the onset Stop In, Store #87 was contacted to inform them of the problem.
The clerk left a message for Lisa, (no last name was given), who was identified as the store manager.

Lisa called, during the course of the conversation it became evident the situation was not one that she could resolve. I requested contact information for upper management that would be able address the situation.
Ann Greys name and number was given (company admin assistant (540) 772-4700); I contacted her and left a detailed message of the current situation.
To date no return call from her was received.

Faxed letter to Mr. Newton detailing problem and request for reimbursement for repairs.
Total $652.17 (includes fuel, does not include
cost for alternate transportation)

Mr. Newton called left message

Sent fax to Mr.Newton thanking him for calling and forwarded copies of repairs via fax.

Mailed certified with return receipt signed copies of all faxed correspondence including color copies of repair receipts.

Mr.Netwon call left message denying any fault for damage.

Received call from Nationwide Insurance's
Brad Sitzman. Stating he would be handling the claim.

Returned Mr.Sitmans call I was asked a series of questions, I answered them and referred him to the letters detailing all info. He stated he had them and would need to speak to the repair garage. Apparently his copies of the reciepts were not clear.

Mechanic called to say he had spoken with Mr. Sitzman detailing the repairs and the nearly 3 gallons of water that was removed from the fuel system. He then forwarded him copies of the repair receipts.

Mr.Sitzman called left a message stating they had concluded their investigation and that they would not be be paying for the damage caused to my vehicle.

I filed a complaint with the Virginia Department of Agriculture, Consumer Affairs Division and Division of weights and measures. The Consumer Services Division had given a deadline of 10.26.07 for a mutually acceptable solution from Stop In (Petroleum Marketers, Incorporated) Exxon,.
To date no resolution.

On 10.25.07
Mr. Davis from the Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures Division contacted me, when we spoke the following day if was evident from the dialogue that he was Not an impartial investigator. I tried to go over the events leading to the vehicles mechanical failure and the water that was found by the mechanic, and even offered the sample of watery fuel sludge, that I have saved in a clear container from my vehicles fuel system. He was not interested in testing this sample. He kept repeating himself saying
How did I know their was water in the fuel I explained the vehicle was running smoothly with no problems then after filling up it was dead on the side of the road. Investigator Davis said he had spoken to the individuals at the Fuel Station and had run his tests (which did not include the stick test, why I do not know). It would have been a good time to do this specific test, since it had been raining late the night before when the tanker filled up the underground tank.

I had him speak directly to the mechanic, the mechanic called me back to say that Mr. Davis was not interested in the facts he had to share with him either.
Things that make you go hm about the so called neutral investigation by Mr. Davis.

Roanoke, Virginia
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#1 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Angelina - (U.S.A.)

Steve, thanks for writing,
- The AC was not on when it happened
- I was their when the repairs were done, even after the tank was dropped, replaced the fuel pump, filter, spark plugs the engine was running again, but still knocking like gremlins were in their.
- Pinpointed the sound to the idler pulley, replaced that. Still knocking just not at loud, examined belt it was clearly stretched. Replaced belt knocking resolved.
- The belt had just been replaced a few months earlier and should not have needed replacement for some time.
- The loud knocking from the idler pulley only started after the bad fuel and the engine jerking, coincidence that it happened at exactly the same time?
I do know my way around my Explorers engine; maybe not as well at I know designer heels, but pretty good. I leave the more intense repairs to a qualified garage and mechanic that I trust, the completed repairs were necessary.
At this point, I probably will have to take them to court to be reimbursed for the repairs,
What a pain and inconvenience; I thought maybe just maybe, they would do the right thing, but no such luck. Filing a law suit around the Christmas Holidays what fun.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Some questions about, and some problems with your post.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)


Although I sympathize with your situation, there is some important info missing here and some bad info.

First, you should also state the year of your vehicle and the mileage. I believe that Ford Explorer SUV should be run on at least the mid grade gas usually being 89 octane.

Second, I can tell you for an absolute fact that the serpentine belt and idler pully were NOT damaged due to bad gas. If the shop told you this, they took you for a ride. When an engine "jerks", it is the entire assembly that jerks, as everything is connected to the block. There is no stress placed on the belt or pulley when that engine jerks. For this to happen, the belt would have to be routed around something not fastened to the engine. This is basic physics. I have an extensive mechanical background and have built and raced performance cars.

The only thing that is likely to stretch or break that serpentine belt is a bad idler pulley, or your A/C locking up. Did you have your A/C on when it happened?

You may have to file a small claims lawsuit, and/or file a complaint with a federal agency such as the federal trade commission. Include a signed statement of the mechanic.

Good luck.
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