One of the vehicles affected by water in the gasoline at México state Pemex station. One of the vehicles affected by water in the gasoline at México state Pemex station.

50 vehicles stranded after filling up with gas containing water

Station owner faults Pemex for the tainted gasoline

Around 50 vehicles were stranded after being filled with watered-down gasoline at a gas station on the Mexico-Toluca highway on Tuesday.

Many of the cars broke down before they even left the station. Suspecting damaged fuel injectors, drivers came to an agreement with the owner of the station to cover the costs of repairs once a mechanic was able to diagnose the damage for certain.

“I’ve been here since five in the morning waiting to see what happens, but I had to deliver a load and now I’ll be penalized for not arriving on time,” said Juan Carlos Hurtado, one of the affected drivers. “So I hope to work something out with the station owner so that he covers the costs.”

More than a dozen tow trucks arrived at the station, located in Ocoyoacac, Mexico state, to take stranded cars back to the owners’ homes. Some lived as far away as Ixtapan de la Sal, 73 kilometers southeast.

Some drivers whose cars had made it onto the highway were forced to walk back a number of kilometers after their vehicles broke down on the way into Mexico City.

The Toluca head of the Consumer Protection Agency (Profeco) in Toluca, Araceli Delón, and station owner Gerardo Cendón met Tuesday with the angry customers.

Pemex personnel inspected the station’s tanks and found one of them contained gasoline diluted with water.

Cendón said he was shocked at what had happened and that he would make things right with the affected drivers.

“We get our fuel from Pemex. It was one tank that they filled in the early morning and which supplied gas to pumps one and two. It’s a loss, but we’re going to accept our responsibility to the affected motorists. We’ve been here five years and this has never happened. This issue is on Pemex,” he said.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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