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Should You Worry About BP Gas in the L-W Area?

Officials at BP and Atlas Oil, which distributes fuel to many BP-branded stations in the Chicago area, don't know if local stations received any of the recalled gas. Find out what you can do to protect yourself.

Oil giant BP America recalled unleaded regular fuel Monday from its northwest Indiana distributors that came from a Whiting, Ind., refinery, the Times of Northwest Indiana reported.

The gas that was stored at the refinery from Aug. 13 to 17 is said to cause stalling and other vehicle problems, the newspaper said, adding that customers with car issues reached as far west as Hammond, Ind., and Lansing.

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That has had some Lincoln-Way residents worried that area stations might be carrying the bad batch of fuel. There are BP stations in , and .

Some non-branded stations that aren't owned by another oil company—such as the pumps found at 7-Elevens, Walmarts, Costcos and similar operations—also receive gas from BP on a station-by-station basis.

A spokeswoman from Michigan-based Atlas Oil, which distributes BP fuel and owns many of the BP-branded gas stations in the Chicago area, including the one at , said the company was aware of the problem but wasn't sure how far-reaching the problem was. She said concerned consumers should call BP's customer service hotline at 800-333-3991.

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When Patch contacted the hotline, the representative said BP couldn't determine all the stations the recalled fuel was delivered to. He said he couldn't speculate if fuel was delivered as far as the Lincoln-Way area but that it was possible. The best thing consumers could do to make sure their local station doesn't have the bad fuel is to contact the station's manager, the customer representative said.

Refusing to give his name, the manager at the BP gas station in Frankfort would not comment on the situation and referred all questions to Atlas Oil when Patch called Tuesday. The manager at the Mokena BP station on 191st Street also declined to comment Wednesday and said all media inquiries needed to be handled by BP.

However, a Frankfort station employee Patch spoke to Tuesday said some customers had complained about problems and were given incident report forms to fill out, which is company policy and does not mean the station had been selling or received any of the recalled gas.

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BP in New Lenox has received no notification of its involvement.

The manager, who could not reveal her name, at the BP station at Route 30 and Cedar Road in New Lenox said Aug. 23 "as far as we know, our gas hasn't been impacted." 

BP officials have been notifying the stations that were selling tainted gas, she said. "I've been talking to (other station managers) about it," but she's received no official word one way or the other about her station. 

"I'm assuming that we didn't (sell tainted gas.)"

Having gathered information as best she could, the New Lenox station manager said she has learned about a website, www.BPResonse, which provides an additional phone line for consumer claims. 

A statement on the website reads: "BP has also established a second phone line for the processing of consumer claims in order to better assist those who believe their vehicle may have been harmed by using this fuel.  Any consumer wishing to file a claim should save sales receipts, credit/debit card records and repair bills and should call 1-800-333-3991 or 1-800-599-9040 to speak to a claims representative."

Further information about the matter is also available. 

The manager said consumers should be aware that there are specific telltale signs, if the tainted gas had been used.

  • Your car either won't start at all or it will be a problematic start.
  • If it does start, then you'll hear a very loud and disturbing noise.  

BP guarantees its gas and will reimburse customers for repairs if it's determined that the BP gas caused damage to the vehicle. Consumers can call the BP hotline at 800-333-3991 to report a problem or go to the company's website for more details about the guarantee.

One New Lenox resident, Richard Veis, said he believes his car was the victim of tainted fuel. He described his experience with the car.  

Veis said he filled his car on Aug. 20, but BP officials said the recall pertained to deliveries between Aug. 13-17. 

However, his vehicle showed no signs of mechanical difficulties at first, he said. It wasn't until he was on the way home, that the "car was giving fits, didn't want to start" right away. The next day, it was "running rough."

Veis stopped at the station and was told that BP had not identified them as distributors of bad gas. "I told (the manager) what happened" and was directed to call the 800 number."

Because the number was busy, Veis said he sent an email describing the situation. He is still waiting for a claim form in the mail. 

"(The) car still runs rough" even at half-a-tank. "What a nightmare."   

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a mom August 23, 2012 at 12:40 PM
My friend's car had the bad gas. She knows that she last fueled up at a BP on Friday last week. She lives in the Tinley area. Her car just stopped. She had to tow it to her mechanic who couldn't figure out what was wrong. She saw the news clip on the t.v. and told the mechanic...It was the fuel!
Leslie Williams August 23, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Gasoline used to have a shelf life of 6 months. When they started adding all the methanol and other additives (fillers), the shelf life dropped to one month because methanol is hygroscopic, which means it attracts water from the atmosphere. We all know water and gas don't mix. Small amounts of water in the gas can be dealt with by adding Heet, which encapsulates the water allowing gas to be used, but it's not as potent and can cause sputtering and misfires. When storing gas or even just filling your mower/snow blower, it is best to add some Stabil purple- not pink- to the gas to reduce these water problems. So, BP just sold some old gas. Hope it was worth it. The shortened lifespan of stored gasoline is intentional so that people don't start storing gas in a 300 gallon tank in an attempt to reduce price volatility.
Maripatp August 23, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Any news on the BP in Manhattan?
Carol Neidermeyer August 23, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Where? New York ? This is Illinois.
Joe Vince (Editor) August 23, 2012 at 05:19 PM
@Maripatp: I didn't check the Manhattan station, but I would imagine the response would be the same. I would suggest you call that station's manager and ask him or her if the station receives its fuel from the Whiting, Ind., refinery. @Carol Neidermeyer: Manhattan is in Illinois, just south of New Lenox in Will County. https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=manhattan+IL&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x880e6fdf1f1e14e9:0xc249391c0939d5a2,Manhattan,+IL&gl=us&ei=42U2UMHUBobG6wGGsYDIDw&ved=0CIcBELYD Joe Vince Local Editor, Frankfort/Mokena
JPS August 23, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Ummm, Carol. There is a Manhattan in Illinois. http://goo.gl/maps/OA3Hj
Chester Rook August 23, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Really, Carol? Really?
lala August 24, 2012 at 12:14 AM
I smell a gas price hike. Should hit right before Labor Day.
Kimberly August 26, 2012 at 11:52 AM
"Some non-branded stations that aren't owned by another oil company—such as the pumps found at 7-Elevens, Walmarts, Costcos and similar operations—also receive gas from BP on a station-by-station basis." I had no idea the gas at my local 7-Eleven could be BP. I will purchase gas at 7-Eleven when its cheaper then the Speedway down the road. Thanks Joe, I apprecaite the info, won't be buying gas at 7-Eleven again.
Joe Vince (Editor) August 26, 2012 at 04:59 PM
@Kimberly: Check with the 7-Eleven beforehand. Not all them use BP gas, but BP can be a supplier. Joe Vince Local Editor, Frankfort/Mokena

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