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Dozens of drivers facing hefty repair bills after filling up at Guelph, Ont. gas station

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A quick stop at the pumps turned into a headache – and a hefty repair bill – for some drivers in Guelph, Ont.

Dozens say they filled their vehicles up with bad gas at a station on Woolwich Street last Friday.

A local auto shop told CTV News that many of the cars had the same problem – contaminated fuel in the combustion engine caused their vehicles to shut down while on the road.

Brian Holstein said that very thing happened shortly after he filled up on Friday.

“The car just halted and stopped,” he explained.

Holstein had to get his vehicle towed to Norm’s Esso on Surrey Street.

Mechanic James Rooyakkers said four other drivers also dropped off their vehicles after experiencing the same problem.

“As soon as I took a sample of the fuel I could see that the fuel was separating. There were two layers.”

He shared a photo with CTV News showing clean fuel side-by-side with the sample he took from a stalled vehicle.

Gas from a stalled vehicle on the left, clean fuel from a pump on the right.

Norm’s Esso said they didn’t know what had contaminated the gas.

All of the drivers who spoke with CTV News, and Rooyakkers, said the only thing connecting the drivers was the fuel pumps on Woolwich Street.

The gas station was closed on Wednesday. A posted sign said regular and plus-grade fuel was out of stock. CTV News tried to contact Mobil for comment on this story but we did not get a response.

'Out of stock' sign on a fuel pump in Guelph, Ont. (Tyler Kelaher/CTV Kitchener)

Other drivers also had the same experience.

“I’ve reached out and nobody’s gotten back to me,” said University of Guelph student Ella van Oene.

She put about $20 of gas into her car before it broke down. When she took it to a dealership, van Oene was told the cost fix the problem would be $1,200.

“I don’t have the money for this. I was not expecting this when I went to go get gas,” she said.

van Oene joined a local Facebook group where she connected with dozens of other drivers who experienced the same situation.

Ella van Oene checks out the latest messages in a Facebook group for drivers who filled up with bad gas. (Tyler Kelaher/CTV Kitchener)

“I think I should be reimbursed,” explained Holstein.

“There’s been talk of potentially a class action [lawsuit], given the amount of people that they’ve affected,” added van Oene. “Times are hard right now financially and this is not something that I expected to have to pay for.”

The cause of the issue has not been confirmed.

CTV News spoke to several mechanics who said contaminated fuel shouldn’t have negative long-term effects on a vehicle – if it’s handled quickly.

One driver said his vehicle hasn’t been the same since he filled up last Friday.

van Oene, meanwhile, has kept a sample of the fuel from her car and plans on sending it to a lab to determine the exact substance.

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