ELGIN, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Corporation Commission found Chisholm Corner #19 on Highway 277 in violation of having water in two fuel tanks.
Shane Birch said he typically fuels up his household vehicles at Chisholm Corner #19.
“I’ve lived in this community since 2010, and I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars at that fuel station,” said Birch.
Birch said he fueled up his truck on March 21, but then went on vacation until March 27. His truck sat in his garage until then.
As he was running errands on the 27th, a dashboard light appeared.
“Service. Water in fuel,” the message read.
“I just immediately took my truck over there to the GMC dealership and dropped it off and they did all the diagnostics on it,” stated Birch.
Birch told KFOR the fuel drained from his truck appeared to be watered down.
Birch ended up paying the dealership a total of $1,553.20 for repairs a few days later.
He filed a claim with the gas station’s insurance company, Federated Mutual Insurance Company.
Birch was hoping to be reimbursed for the cost of repairs, but his claim was denied.
A denial letter was sent to Birch from Federated Mutual Insurance Company on April 12.
The letter said the reason why the insurance company won’t be covering those costs is because they determined their diesel fuel tank was not contaminated at the time of Birch’s purchase.
“Our policy only provides coverage for damages for which our insured is legally liable. Because we feel our insured is not liable in this case, we must decline payment for your damages,” said a Federated Mutual Insurance Company Claims Representative.
Birch said he’s disappointed his claim was denied even after providing proof their was water in his tank.
Another driver who was unavailable for an interview told KFOR over text they were put in a similar situation.
“He’s in OKC right now looking at options to buy a new truck since the gas station’s insurance is refusing to pay the $30,000 repair bill so far,” that driver’s daughter said.
Both drivers filed a complaint with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) alleging there is bad gas being sold at Chisholm Corner #19.
“Inspector responded to complaint of contaminated Diesel. Upon inspection, 0.5″ of water was found in Diesel tank. Five gallons of Diesel was pumped from Dispenser #10 for testing purposes. Diesel sample appeared very cloudy in glass sample jar. After allowing sample to set approximately 10 minutes, fuel did not clear up. Inspector and on site manager both viewed sample and agreed that fuel was extremely cloudy. Fuel is not clear and must be,” an April 12 OCC inspection report reads.
OCC Public Information Manager, Matt Skinner told KFOR the gas station was cited with two violations, both involving water in tanks.
“The first is for their premium tank, 91 Octane, and that tank is shut down. The second is for a diesel tank that is also shut down because of water in the tank,” explained Skinner.
He said prior to the OCC inspection on April 12, three complaints were filed.
One of those complaints was from April 7, but water wasn’t found in the gas station’s diesel tank, according to Skinner.
Then, they received two more complaints by April 12 and investigated once more.
That’s when fuel was sampled and found to be watered down.
“What we think has happened is that, that tank did have a water violation about a month or a couple of months ago, and that was taken care of, but there could have been enough moisture in the tank possibly for algae to grow and but it still relates all back to water in the tank,” said Skinner.
That violation Skinner is referring to is from February.
He said other than that, he didn’t find any other prior complaints pertaining to Chisholm Corner #19.
“It’s our understanding that the algae can be addressed by a company that specializes in this kind of thing, get the algae out of the tank and clean everything up. Obviously, that fuel can’t be used. It’s been contaminated. The other tank, it’s the same thing. And in both cases, because this all relates to water in a tank, they have to show us a plan as to what they have done or are planning to do to stop this from happening again,” stated Skinner.
Until the fuel is clean, Skinner said those tanks will remain locked and out of use.
The inspection report states there will be a follow up with the gas station April 19, but Skinner said they won’t go back to the gas station to inspect those particular tanks until the gas station notifies them that the situation has been fixed.
“I want to stress they cannot sell until we go out there, until we’re notified by them and we come out and take a look and then take the locks off,” said Skinner. “They have some tanks that are fine and they’re allowed to sell fuel out of those tanks.”
News 4 called Chisholm Corner #19 Tuesday afternoon to see if the tanks had been drained and fresh gas had been put in.
A manager picked up the call and told KFOR, “It’s being corrected now.”
News 4 attempted to ask a follow up question, but she said, “I’ve got people calling for me to come out there because of [the gas issue]. I got to get off the phone.”
Chisholm Corner #19’s property manager is Diversified Management Group, Inc.
On behalf of the group, Daredevil Business Consulting representative, Amanda Anderson called News Tuesday evening to comment.
“Chisholm Corner #19] is currently working with their insurance company for the different claims for diesel and premium fuel, so they are trying to cycle through, validating the claims and making sure that there’s proof of purchase and things like that,” said Anderson.
Anderson said the gas station acknowledges the issue of water in the fuel and takes full responsibility.
“Obviously, it’s not something they liked to have had happened,” explained Anderson.
Anderson told KFOR the gas station has tested the fuel to see where the problem lies.
Anderson confirmed fuel trucks were out working on the tanks Tuesday morning.
Anderson was unable to comment on specific customer complaints, but said there are “quite a few claims” that the insurance company is currently dealing with.
News 4 asked how many complaints of bad gas Chisholm Creek #19 has received recently, but she was unable to provide that information over the phone.
She said any claim verified through the insurance company will “100% be taken care of.”
Birch said although he has never had an issue with the fuel at Chisholm Corner #19, he will likely never go there again.
Birch took his experience to social media and he said that’s where he found out several others had been affected. Some even claimed the gas station has had “bad gas” for years, according to Birch.
“I’m feeling let down,” said Birch. “I’m disappointed.”
Birch said he resubmitted his claim to the gas station’s insurance company to which they told him an hour prior to his interview with News 4 that it was still denied.
He plans to submit a claim to his insurance company, so “there’s record of it.”
The other driver News 4 spoke with was told a decision on his insurance claim will come within the next 48 hours.
If you have a complaint regarding fuel, you can submit a complaint with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.