Florida receives over 1,600 complaints about potentially contaminated fuel ahead of Idalia

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — With much of the Tampa Bay area currently under evacuation, you need your car to get to work. For this reason, reports of contaminated gasoline at more than a dozen Tampa Bay area gas stations are of particular concern as it can stall your car.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said the fuel supplied by CITGO is contaminated and could potentially damage your engine. And as Florida residents prepare for a hurricane, there are concerns that some drivers could become stranded.

Chris Shavers said his car sounded weird and he was concerned.

“Actually, it was Saturday afternoon, about 2 p.m.,” Shavers said. “It was ju ju ju ju ju ju.”

“It’s going to hiccup, maybe wobble, spit and stutter,” said Dusty Cox, manager of Olin Mott Tire Center & Auto Repairs.

State officials say the contamination occurred at the CITGO terminal in the Port of Tampa. The cause? Human error.

“It’s unrelated to the storm, but it’s happening right on the eve of the storm,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said Sunday.

Port Tampa Bay supplies almost half of the fuel for the entire state of Florida. They are an important energy gateway. Although CITGO is here, port officials tell 8 On Your Side that they have no control over CITGO and that CITGO owns the land and employs the people. We were told to ask questions directly about what went wrong with them.

A CITGO spokesman told 8 On Your Side that they are conducting “a full review” of the “terminal product routing issue.”

Now civil servants inspect nearly 30 gas stations, including 13 in Tampa Bay. If you filled up at one of the gas stations after 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 26th, be careful.

Wilton Simpson, Florida’s commissioner of agriculture, is investigating the matter. He said his agency had received more than 1,600 complaints from consumers as of Monday night.

“My office will collect all the paperwork and determine what went wrong. We obviously don’t want something like this to happen again,” Simpson said. “CITGO has been very forthcoming on the matter.”

A CITGO spokesman told 8 On Your Side that if your vehicle was damaged by this gas, the bill will be covered.

“If a consumer believes they bought contaminated fuel (petrol or diesel) on or after Saturday 26 August, they can make a claim the CITGO Good Gas Guarantee program.

If your car breaks down, Cox recommends finding a safe spot and pulling over.

Here is the list of affected gas stations:

  • Big Dan’s Car Wash: 39522 US Highway 19 N, Tarpon Springs
  • 7-Eleven: 3437 US Highway 19, Holiday
  • 7-Eleven: 13411 Fish Hawk Blvd, Lithia
  • 7-Eleven: 4325 Lee Boulevard, Lehigh Acres
  • 7-Eleven: 12750 South Cleveland Avenue, Fort Myers
  • 7-Eleven: 290 Lakeland Park Road, Lakeland
  • 7-Eleven: 720 Chiquita Blvd, North Cape Coral
  • 7-Eleven: 2604 Skyline Boulevard, Cape Coral
  • 7-Eleven: 940 S Broad St., Brooksville
  • 7-Eleven: 1626 Meadow Road, Lehigh Acres
  • 7-Eleven: 2401 James Redman Parkway, Plant City
  • 7-Eleven: 601 Pine Island Rd. SW, Cape Coral
  • 7-Eleven: 6050 Dean Dairy Road, Zephyrhills
  • 7-Eleven: 714 Burnt Store Road, Cape Coral
  • BJ’s Wholesale: 1929 Pine Island Road NE, Cape Coral
  • BJ’s Wholesale: 9372 Ben C Pratt Six Mile Cypress Pkwy., Fort Myers
  • BJ’s Wholesale: 13585 NE 86th Path, Lady Lakes
  • Handy Foods Store No. 86: 21321 Palm Beach Blvd., Alva
  • Handy Foods Store No. 87: 3205 Lee Blvd., Lehigh Acres
  • Superday CITGO: 1595 South McCall Road, Port Charlotte
  • Bolton One LLC: 15434 US Highway 19, Hudson
  • JHW #310 – DBA Avenue CITGO: 11867 N. Williams St., Dunellon
  • AL Prime – Daytona Beach: 1898 S. Clyde Morris Blvd., Daytona Beach
  • Quick and easy stop: 4529 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota
  • Palmer’s Easy Stop: 903 Cattleman Rd., Sarasota
  • Faulkenburg CITGO: 5320 Faulkenburg Road, Tampa
  • Fine Dining and Gas: 310 N Central Ave., Umatilla
  • 2K Express 5: 6202 N 40th St., Tampa
  • Perfection Station 5: 9931 N Florida Ave., Tampa

If you are affected, you can call 1-800-HELP-FLA or file a complaint online at www.fdacs.gov.

If you have a tip or comment, email Mahsa at MSaeidi@WFLA.com

Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: LauraCoffey@worldtimetodays.com.

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