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.