State officials close down gas pump after water discovered in tank

Published: Jul. 23, 2014 at 12:01 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2014 at 9:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Lauren Smith takes pride in the Mercedes that she normally drives, but these days the big sticker on her rear window reads 'courtesy vehicle,' and she says there's a good reason for that.

This past Sunday night, Lauren had just filled up with 93 octane at the Quick and Easy convenience store near Trade Street and I-77.

"I drove about a mile home and then the next morning I made it about three blocks before the she engine seized up. I had to pull off, it broke down on the side of the road," she said.

After her car was towed to the dealership, Lauren returned to the store to complain, and that's where she learned of another problem at the pump.

Smith said, "Another gentleman, he walked in behind me, and overheard what I was saying," Smith said. "He was dealing with the same issue."
  
Franklin Samenduit was that gentleman, and he is also driving a borrowed car because his car is at the Honda dealership.

"I thought I was getting good gas, I was driving back to my neighborhood less than a mile," he said, "My car just stopped shut off.

WBTV approached the clerks on duty Tuesday.

Ali Mohdar, who works at the store, produced a document dated the 15 of July that says there's no water in the gas.

We contacted the State Department of Agriculture, which over sees gas pumps, and received an e-mail that said in part, "An inspector visited the station on 7/21 and after determining that the Premium grade of gasoline contained phase separation, issued a stop sale order."

It's a warning for some, but Lauren Smith feels she shouldn't be stuck with the repair bill. "I don't think as a consumer that I should have to pay several thousand dollars in damage that were no fault of mine."

If you feel that you may have bought bad gas at this location, contact the NC Department of Agriculture at 919-733-3246.

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