Customer: Exxon owner won't fully reimburse for damages caused by gas contaminated with water

The Huntsville Exxon owner said he wants to help make things right with customers who pumped the contaminated gas, but he won't be taken advantage of.

Posted: Mar 21, 2019 9:17 PM
Updated: Mar 21, 2019 10:42 PM

WAAY 31 reported Monday the Exxon gas station on Governors Drive is closed for repairs after reimbursing more than a dozen people for damage to their vehicles caused by gas contaminated with water. After that story aired, Ian Bragg, a frustrated customer, reached out to us claiming the owner refuses to pay him back in full.

Bragg said he pumped a full tank of gas at the Exxon station the day before the pumps closed. He said the car immediately started sputtering, and now, he's out over a thousand bucks. He said the gas station owner isn't willing to pay him back in full.

"He goes through it line by line. He gets to spark plugs and says, 'You got platinum spark plugs. You're taking advantage of me,'" Bragg said.

The Exxon store owner backs up Bragg's story. He confirmed with WAAY 31 he's not paying for two line items on the list of repairs Bragg says were brought on by contaminated gas pumped at the Exxon station. Those items are the spark plugs and a charge labeled "customer pay shop repair for supplies."

"I called Nissan again, trying to make him happy. Nissan was like, 'This is the cost of the lubricants, the nuts, the bolts. The random stuff we can't itemize. We have to just put it as a charge,'" Bragg said.

Both line items add up to just shy of $215. Bragg wants Exxon to reimburse him for the full $1,093.76 he spent on damage done to his Nissan Rogue and the cost of having it towed.

"Having the money, we're breaking even. It's like not even helping us. We're just trying to get back to where we were," Bragg said.

For Bragg's family, that money means more now than ever.

"I have a baby on the way. I need the money that I paid with a credit card to be reimbursed," Bragg said.

The Exxon owner didn't want to talk to WAAY 31 on camera but said he's happy to pay Bragg for everything but the spark plugs and shop fee. He said he wants to help make things right with customers who pumped the contaminated gas, but he won't be taken advantage of. He went on to say Bragg's request is way more than the average $650 he's paying back.

Now, Bragg said he's fed up, and he is starting the paperwork for his next move.

"I told him, I'm like, 'Please pay me what you owe me to fix what is broken. If not, I will have to sue you.' His response was, 'Do what you have to do,'" Bragg said.

Bragg said he did his best to do all of this by the book. He said he's been to the Exxon station four times, including Thursday, to make sure he was getting the right quotes from the right places. Not everyone is having the same problem. The company said it has already paid back at least fifteen people for vehicle damages.

WAAY 31 reached out to Exxon Mobil Corporation and received a statement from a spokesperson, Sarah Nordin. She said ExxonMobil doesn't own or operate any retail fuels stations in the United States.

Nordin said Exxon and Mobil stations are supplied by authorized independent Branded Wholesalers that either operate the stations directly or have a contractual relationship with an independent owner/operator.

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