BP Recalls Gasoline That May Cause Car Problems

BP has announced that it's recalling thousands of gallons of gasoline. The oil giant says fuel that was stored in a tank in northwest Indiana could cause car problems.

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And I'm Melissa Block.

Time now for a story on the latest recall. It's not food or an appliance. It's gasoline. BP has recalled gasoline that was stored at a facility in northwest Indiana, near Chicago. But tens of thousands of gallons of that gas have already been sold and pumped into gas tanks.

As NPR's Jeff Brady reports, local mechanics are fielding lots of calls from concerned drivers.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: At a Toyota dealership in Merrillville, Indiana, service manager Rick Shaver says there's a steady stream of customers experiencing problems because of BP's gasoline recall.

RICK SHAVER: Every day, all day, from the time we open the doors, 7:30, and it goes through all day.

BRADY: Shaver says repairs cost up to $550.

SHAVER: We are dropping and draining gas tanks. We are doing fuel system cleanings, changing the oil, putting new gas in it, of course.

BRADY: In a written statement, BP says it believes more than 2 million gallons of regular gasoline blended at its storage facility last week contained higher than normal levels of polymeric residue. BP says this can cause hard-starting and other issues.

Pat Cappo of Munster, Indiana, knows this.

PAT CAPPO: Starting it, it was really rough. It was like it was choking on itself.

BRADY: Last Thursday, Cappo says she filled her 2005 Suburban with gas. She says once the SUV warms up, it runs fine. Five days later, she's burned most of that tank of gas, and she thinks the problem may have passed. But when she heard BP was recalling gas sold locally, she called the company early this morning to find a really long wait time.

CAPPO: I don't have time to wait on the phone 100 minutes.

(LAUGHTER)

BRADY: So Cappo did what BP is suggesting to customers who call: emailing the details of their experience to the company instead. BP says it's working with customers whose cars required repairs associated with the recalled gasoline.

Jeff Brady, NPR News.

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