'Tainted' fuel at Barrhaven gas station leading to costly repairs

·2 min read

Numerous customers of a Barrhaven gas station have had to send their vehicles in for costly repairs after pumping "tainted" fuel into their tanks.

Allison Monahan was one of several people who complained on social media after filling up at the Petro-Canada at Greenbank and Fallowfield roads between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.

Her son filled up her Hyundai Tucson just before 11:30 p.m. Monday before driving the block back home and parking the car. When Monahan went to take her mother out Christmas shopping the next morning, they barely made it a block before the car sputtered and died on Foxfield Drive.

She had it towed to the Hyundai dealership where she was told the problem was "tainted gas." The cost to drain the fuel and perform other necessary checks: more than $670.

"I was pissed," she said. "I retired not that long ago, so every cent counts right now."

'I'm bitter'

Monahan contacted the gas station and Petro-Canada on Tuesday, and said she was told not to pick up her car from Hyundai until she had heard back from someone at the company's head office.

"I'm bitter ... especially now, just before Christmas," she said. "This doesn't help having an extra amount of money that I've got to pay."

Francis Ferland/CBC
Francis Ferland/CBC

Suncor, which owns Petro-Canada, said it's aware of a problem that affected regular fuel pumps at the gas station overnight Monday.

"Once the issue was identified on November 17, we immediately closed the impacted pumps. We are taking it very seriously, working directly with any impacted customers and apologize for any inconvenience this has caused," the company wrote in an email to CBC.

Mechanics kept busy

The gas station appeared to be operating normally Wednesday morning.

CBC News spoke to several mechanics and dealerships in the area, and many said they'd had at least one vehicle turn up with problems similar to Monahan's. One had dealt with nine customers who had filled up at the gas station before having to turn others away.

One mechanic told CBC it can take four to five hours to fix the problem, which includes draining the incorrect fuel from the car, refilling the gas tank, then checking the spark plugs and oil in case they also have to be changed.

Because it's also tire change season, auto shops across Ottawa were already busy, the mechanic said.