Customers, businesses explain the effect of fuel mixup at area MAPCO stations

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Tuesday was a stressful day for MAPCO employees and drivers who filled up at two area MAPCO stations Monday evening. It's because of a fuel mixup.

MAPCO representatives tell WHNT News 19 a third party supplier mistakenly put diesel in tanks at two MAPCO stations, instead of unleaded gas. Customers who filled up before the lines were all flushed and ok'd for sale again, all report the same symptoms.

One store is located at Memorial Parkway and University Drive in Huntsville. The other impacted is at the corner of Highway 72 and County Line Road in Madison.

"The car starts sputtering, it went out," explained James Cagle, who bought what he thought was gas that night. "I had no idea what was going on."

He explained the slight feeling of panic he felt at the time: "It's like, how am I going to get to work? What's going on with the vehicle? How much money am I going to be out?"

But Cagle said MAPCO is doing right by their promise to reimburse customers for towing expenses and to pay for alternate transportation and the vehicle repairs. He said MAPCO arranged to have his car towed to a dealership for repair, is paying for the repair, and also paid for an Enterprise rental car to get him around in the meantime.

"As crazy as that may sound, it's been a very pleasant experience working with MAPCO," he commented. "The only thing they couldn't give me really was a time frame [for the work], because of the amount of cars."

He said knowing that MAPCO is taking care of the expenses is a blessing.

It also came as a surprise blessing for local tow truck companies who spent all day running cars to various places, and even car dealerships and garages in the Huntsville and Madison areas.

Bill Penney Toyota representatives tell us the service department worked on nearly 16 cars, working with MAPCO on the issue.

Over at University Kia, Arthur Seaton said, "We come in to work and we've got tow truck after tow truck, coming in and bringing us different vehicles. We were getting the vehicles back in order for the customers."

Seaton said they even made some sales after the MAPCO situation.

"Someone said, 'No, I want to trade it, I don't want it anymore. I want a new car,'" he said.

MAPCO established a phone number for affected customers to get a jump start on the claims process. It's 844-413-4044. Company representatives who are prepared to help urge you to keep your receipts for related expenses, and give them a call at that number.