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Premium Gasoline Possibly Switched With Ethanol E-85

This article was written by in Consumer. 2 comments.


When I drive up to a gas station, I have a number of expectations. First, if I see a price advertised for regular-grade gasoline, that’s the price I expect to pay for regular-grade gasoline. That wasn’t the case a few years ago when my local gas station decided to implement price discrimination for customers who use credit cards; their prices for some time continued advertising a lower cash price while not advertising the more expensive credit price.

I also expect that the grade I select on the pump is the grade that flows into the gas tank. A number of customers at a Costco gas station in Nanuet, New York seem to believe the 93-octane “premium” gasoline they thought they were pumping was actually E-85, a mixture of gasoline composed of 85% ethanol, much more than their cars can handle. Customers quickly began experiencing engine problems and other damage requiring up to $4,000 in repairs.

Costco claims the gasoline contains an “appropriate” level of ethanol. Different states have different requirements, but there may be up to 10% ethanol in standard gasoline. The company is offering to pay for repairs and to provide a $150 gift card.

If gasoline mix-up this affected you, you should file a complaint with Rockland County by calling 845-708-7600 and talk to Costco to claim reimbursement by calling 800-774-2678.

Updated May 14, 2010 and originally published May 13, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Eric

Ugh…I hope this doesn’t affect me on the other side of the coast.

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avatar tigernicole86 ♦55 (Newbie)

My older car couldn’t handle the ethanol that was being put in. But my newer one can definitely take and I can even use the new E-85. Hoorah!

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