Woman claims she spent thousands on damages after receiving ‘bad gas’

She filled up her car with gas at a North Charleston Circle K on Aug. 29. Immediately after driving away, she noticed smoke coming out of the tailpipe.
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 4:59 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2022 at 6:27 PM EST
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Agriculture stopped the sale of certain gasoline products at a North Charleston gas station after a woman says she received a damaged product.

Latieka Jones filled up her car with gas at the Circle K located at 2957 W. Montague Ave. on Aug. 29. Immediately after driving away, she noticed smoke coming out of the tailpipe of her vehicle before heading to a mechanic. Jones says the mechanic proceeded to remove the gas from her car after telling her there was bad gas inside.

Following her trip to the mechanic, Jones says she contacted the Circle K manager, who directed her to a corporate number.

“I kept calling back every day, but I have never heard back,” Jones says. “It took about two months before an adjuster actually reached back.”

While waiting on a response from Circle K, Jones emailed the South Carolina Department of Agriculture to inform them about the bad gas. A sample of the gas sold at Circle K was tested and failed on Nov. 15.

SCDA sent the following email to Jones on Nov. 16:

We have stopped sale of the premium and mid-grade products at this location until corrective action is taken. We stopped sale of mid-grade due to it being a blended product.

After not selling certain gasoline products for around a month, a manager at Circle K says they began selling premium and mid-grade products once again on Dec. 7.

The SCDA says that any reimbursement or restitution for vehicle repairs is between the customer and the gas station. Jones says the damages have been in the thousands; now, she needs a new engine, which she says Circle K has refused to pay.

“Don’t patronize these companies,” Jones says. “For them to not take responsibility for something that happens, it’s just wrong; and I’m holding them responsible.”

As for the future, she hopes more customers who may have been affected will come forward.

“Right now, with inflation, people who barely get paid at their jobs can’t afford to come to a gas station to get gas and leave with thousands of dollars worth of bills due to the gas station, I feel,” she says. “The gas stations are also trying to compensate for the gas prices; they’re putting products in their gas to extend the gas out.”

To file a claim with the Department of Agriculture, call 803-737-9700 or visit their website by clicking here.

Circle K has not yet responded to a request for comment.