NewsCovering Colorado


Gas station mix-up causes folks to pump diesel fuel, not unleaded

Posted at 11:08 PM, May 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-06 06:20:06-04

COLORADO SPRINGS – A mix-up at the Circle K gas station on Meadowbrook Parkway caused folks filling up with unleaded gas to get diesel instead.

Now, they’re facing hundreds in repairs.

Folks say they’re concerned over how this mix-up happened, whether it can happen again, and what long-term damages their cars may have suffered because of it.

Sunday afternoon, News 5 saw gas station workers cleaning the tanks out but as of Sunday night, those affected were still waiting on answers.

News 5 also noticed the yellow bags covering all the pumps.

But that wasn’t the case yesterday afternoon when two people went to go fill up their tanks.

“12, 12:10, we just went to go put gas in the vehicle because my daughter had a volleyball tournament,” said Erin Pinero.

“We were going to my parent’s house for the weekend, got to circle k in the springs at 12:30, quarter to 1, something like that,” said Earl Wade Kliesen.

Immediately, they knew something was wrong.

“About three miles down, my pick-up started making funny sounds and I was like, ‘What is that?’ and pretty soon there was a monitor on the dash that comes on that was a wrench that said ‘call a dealership immediately,'” said Kliesen.

“At about Fountain and Academy, we started noticing at stop lights the vehicle would almost stall out, not quite, but then once you got going it was hard to get the vehicle going and we noticed this all the way up,” Pinero added,

Kleisen owns a 2018 Ford F-150 truck.

“Got about 20,000 miles on it and it’s never given me any trouble,” he emphasized.

Pinero owns a 2017 Nissan Rogue. She has a copy of the receipt which shows she paid for unleaded gas.

“Never experienced this before,” she said.

When Kleisen had his truck towed to, and checked out at the Phil Long Ford dealership, a mechanic broke the news.

“There’s diesel in the tank and when I talked to them, they go, ‘There’s no way you could’ve put diesel in it because a diesel pump panel won’t fit into an unleaded truck.,'” he explained.

Pinero got her car towed to her dealership too, except it was closed by the time her car got there.
Though, the tow mechanic told her there was a common denominator.

“Two people had come into the Honda dealership and they had diesel and they had gotten fuel at Circle K,” she recalled.
“So that’s kind of where I was like, ‘Ok, what’s going on here?'”

Next, both got in touch with the employees at the gas station.

“[A clerk] goes, ‘Yeah, we’re four months old’ and he goes, ‘Are you calling about gas?” Kleisen said.

“They just explained to me that yes, the lines had crossed or something like that and that there was diesel being pumped into the vehicles,” Pinero noted.

At this point, both have had to foot the bill for more than $150.

“A rental car will be 75 [dollars] at the minimum and the diagnostic on the vehicle will be 175 [dollars],” Pinero said.

“168 dollars,” Kleisen said when asked how much money he had to pay mechanics.

Right now, they want more accountability.

“[I want to] see them step up and re-cover (sic) those repairs,” Kleisen demanded.

“Whoever’s responsible, whether it be Circle K, the claims department, the fuel, whoever’s responsible, I hope they’d reach out and say, ‘Hey look, this is the process, this is how long it’s going to take, this is what you can expect,'” Pinero expects on her end.

It’s unclear whether the store has its own fleet of gas delivery trucks, or whether that service is contracted out by a third party delivery company.

We reached out to Circle K’s general manager to ask this question and whether they have any plans to reimburse the affected customers, but we were told they have “no comment.”

We’re also waiting for a response from Circle K’s corporate office.

If you’d like to contact Circle K’s corporate office, you can do so here.