COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Several vehicle owners affected by last weekend’s fuel mix-up at a Colorado Springs gas station said they’re frustrated with their efforts to be reimbursed for damages.
KRDO NewsChannel 13 is following the situation that happened last Saturday at a Circle K station near the junction of U.S. 24 and Highway 94 on the city’s eastern border.
A fuel supplier for Circle K mistakenly switched the station’s fuel lines, resulting in drivers unknowingly filling their gasoline tanks with diesel fuel, and vice versa.
The situation left at least 20 vehicles unable to start or be driven, and the number could be five times higher.
"When I spoke on the phone with the insurance representative, she hung up on me after saying she had 100 other people waiting in line to talk," said victim William Lindner. "We've been fine with Circle K but the insurance carrier was rude to us, unhelpful and made us feel like she doesn't care."
According to some affected drivers, they’re getting different information from Circle K and the company’s insurance carrier, Travelers Insurance.
Circle K said it began telling drivers Sunday that all out-of-pocket expenses for repairs, vehicle rentals and towing will be covered.
However, those drivers said they’ve since been told by Travelers that the insurer will cover some costs, but not all.
In a statement released Monday, Circle K said it would reimburse expenses only “at its discretion.”
Some drivers are counting on reimbursement and said they can’t afford to pay upfront costs of hundreds—or thousands—of dollars while waiting to be reimbursed.
"I'm looking at $1,000 at least," Lindner said. "I'm using a borrowed truck now, I live out in the country, I have livestock to care for and a wife and baby at home. They want me to pay everything out of pocket, and then -- maybe -- they'll reimburse me."
The situation is much better for Jessyca Heddels, another victim. On Thursday, she was reimbursed for $530 in out-of-pocket expenses.
"The only thing they didn't cover was money I spent on insurance for the rental car because there was a hail warning on the day we rented the car," she said. "But I'm happy I got most of my money back and I'm very thankful for it."