Possible gas issues cause headaches for drivers

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - There is suspicion a bad batch of gas could be leading to a string of car problems for Baton Rouge drivers and although one oil giant has stepped forward about possible issues with its supply, it remains unknown how many people may be affected.

Courtney Brasseaux proudly described her 2008 Toyota pick-up Wednesday. Her truck now sits in a parking lot at the Price-Leblanc Toyota Dealership on Airline Highway. Brasseaux says she brought her truck there immediately after it began shaking and running louder than usual. She adds the truck began making odd noises shortly after she had filled up with gas.

"My dashboard was all lit up, check engine, VCS light and the traction light were all coming on," said Brasseaux.

Todd Hodges is the customer service manager at Price-Leblanc Toyota and says Brasseaux is not alone. Hodges says over the last week and a half more than 100 vehicles have been brought in by customers with similar problems and all are sitting idly after the dealership took fuel samples and sent them away for testing.

"The majority of the codes at least three out of the four are running the same code numbers so we know we have unfortunate misfires on certain cylinders so that's what we're investigating," said Hodges.

It is unclear how widespread the problem is but this afternoon ExxonMobil released a statement on Wednesday that reads.

We have been made aware of a potential issue with regular unleaded gasoline purchased at select locations in the Baton Rouge, LA area.

Upon learning of the issue, we immediately began an investigation.

We have shut down the Baton Rouge terminal gasoline loading racks while the investigation continues.

We take this matter very seriously and we are working with our customers. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our customers and motorists.

Hodges says the fuel tests will determine if the gasoline from their customers cars was below standards and which stations were selling that tainted gas but adds in the meantime many who rely on those vehicles are paying the price.

"They don't like seeing us anymore than they need to but we try to keep them going as quick as possible and you're absolutely right, their livelihood is their car that's how they get to and from work, take care of the kids, take of the families so try to get them back in as quickly as possible," said Hodges.

Drivers like Brasseaux will have to wait for test results to come in but she hopes if it is a fuel quality issue, then the responsible parties will do their part to make things right.

"It had damaged my vehicle that hadn't been damaged before. I don't think I should be responsible to fix something that was damaged by someone else's product," said Brasseaux.

ExxonMobil has a toll free number people can call with questions or concerns about fuel they may have purchased in the Baton Rouge area. The number is 855-300-2659.

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