A tank that customers at an upstate New York Costco gas station thought was full of premium gasoline may have actually dispensed E85 ethanol, damaging engines and fuel systems of cars not designed to deal with the fuel. E85 is a mixture of 85% corn juice and 15% gasoline that can severely damage engines not designed for it.
Drivers have reported problems to Rockland County — complaining of their cars shaking, engines dying and fuel injectors being clogged. The county and Costco are awaiting test results, but inspectors believe it was a gas mix-up.
“It has a strong alcohol odor and looks like E85 as opposed to 93-octane gasoline,” said Commissioner of Consumer Affairs Terry Grosselfinger said.
WCBS reports that Costco disputes Rockland County’s claim that the tank contained E85, but does not dispute the damage to cars from that particular batch of gasoline. They are paying repair bills for affected customers.