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CALL 6: Tainted diesel fuel from Kroger gas station in Lebanon damages multiple vehicles

Truck owners reach out to Call 6 over repair bills
Posted at 10:59 PM, May 21, 2018

BOONE COUNTY, Ind. -- Richard  Weber is a farmer in Boone County. He’s been planting corn and soybeans on one thousand acres.

His main vehicle to haul fertilizer and seed was put was not operational for several days.

“They want to pro-rate the stuff and not fix it like it was because my truck is old," said Weber.

Weber got nearly 29 gallons of diesel worth $81.70 at the Kroger Store in Lebanon on April 18. As a result, his truck ended up with a repair bill totaling $9,166.14 including labor.

"I thought the motor was going to come out of the truck."

Colt Barrickman managed to pour several gallons of the contaminated fuel into a couple of containers. His father's and brother's vehicles were affected.

"The whole system is contaminated. The damage has been done. The right thing to do is to fix it right the first time so you don't have to fix it again," said Barrickman.

Dennis Turner was also forced to take his 2006 Chevy Silverado Duramax to the mechanic. He got $49.96 in diesel at the same Kroger store in Lebanon on April 19.

The cost to fix his vehicle including labor added up to $$9,716.38.

Like Colt and Richard, Dennis filed a claim for his repair bill with the company Kroger used to handle the claim Sedgwick Claims Management Services.

"Because the truck has 122,000 miles on it--that they are only to pay 70%," said Turner

Turner added “I just want my truck back. I want it fixed. That's it, plain and simple."

Call 6 Investigates took the concerns from Dennis, Richard and Colt to Kroger. The men feared only a portion of their repair bill would be covered.

"I don't blame them for second-guessing the decision," said Eric Halvorson, Manager of Corporate Affairs & Media Spokesman.

Kroger was quick to respond to Call 6.

The company doesn't know how the diesel fuel was tainted since the day before the problem emerged they had cleaned out the tank.

And contrary to what customers were told---repair bills will be paid in full.

"There was an issue where one person dealing with this it as an insurance calculation and depreciate---When that message got up to the executive in Cincinnati, he said that's not how we do things--so for anyone with a valid claim we'll take care of it," said Halvorson.

Weber got back his truck and no longer needs to borrow one to haul fertilizer and seeds around his farm.         

"They called me and said covered 100%. I'm good," said Webber. 

Kroger says its reviewing 20 claims from the incident.