Diesel tank filled with gasoline

Miss_Athanatos

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Location
Kansas
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2015 Golf SportWagen 6-speed manual; 2016 3500 Ram Tradesman 4X4 6.7L Cummins 6-Speed manual
I have horrible, terrible news.

After service, the dealer's techs filled my brand new 2016 truck's diesel tank with gasoline. The truck engine kept surging on the road and so was brought back to the dealer. They ran it more in the garage for diagnostics, only later to discover the problem.

I am sure that this has voided my warranty.

No one wanted to give me a straight story on what was wrong. The only reason I know what happened is because a customer service rep who didn't know what was going on let me read the case notes for service.

How should I prepare myself to deal with this?
 

DanG144

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Location
Chapin, South Carolina, USA
TDI
2005 A4 Jetta 5spd
This post surely does NOT make me smile.

1)Get them to replace the truck.

Failing that
2) get them to warrant the trucks fuel system for 200k miles. Or perhaps to pay for the extended warranty. Heck, on a Cummins engine, maybe you should ask for 500 kmiles.

3) I am not big on suing, but I would not hesitate to mention "lawyer" if you do not get satisfaction.

The type of damage from gasoline can greatly shorten the life of injectors, fuel pumps, and even the engine itself - just because it runs fine after fuel dump and replacement is not enough. (Pretty sure you already knew this.)
 

Miss_Athanatos

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Location
Kansas
TDI
2015 Golf SportWagen 6-speed manual; 2016 3500 Ram Tradesman 4X4 6.7L Cummins 6-Speed manual
This post surely does NOT make me smile.

1)Get them to replace the truck.

Failing that
2) get them to warrant the trucks fuel system for 200k miles. Or perhaps to pay for the extended warranty. Heck, on a Cummins engine, maybe you should ask for 500 kmiles.

3) I am not big on suing, but I would not hesitate to mention "lawyer" if you do not get satisfaction.

The type of damage from gasoline can greatly shorten the life of injectors, fuel pumps, and even the engine itself - just because it runs fine after fuel dump and replacement is not enough. (Pretty sure you already knew this.)
Thanks for your response. Notwithstanding my signature, this situation is not making me smile either.

I am becoming more and more convinced that for this grave of a violation to happen on my brand new pickup truck that it needs to be replaced in kind. I have a meeting tomorrow with the owner of the dealership. He's promised to work with me on this.

I am very suspicious, however, due to the hiding or reluctance to give information. No techs would talk to me, no sales people would talk to me and the owner wouldn't talk to me in the beginning. I did, however, find out what happened through a customer service woman who let me read her service case notes. She said that the techs wouldn't even talk to her and that she had to eavesdrop to get information to put into the service report since she said they couldn't keep my pickup without specific information as to what was wrong with it. I know that's rambling, but I'm a little too upset to write artfully.

I am not convinced that either a lifetime or extended warranty would be in my best interest at this point. I don't want to drive a vehicle that just dogs around and runs rough because "flushing" the fuel system can't get rid of every trace of gasoline...and when the gasoline was in there it did untold damage to both the cylinders due to crazy high pressure under detonation and the fuel injectors due to low lubricity.

AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH! This is the last thing that I wanted to deal with right now.
 

john.jackson9213

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
Miramar, Ca. (Think Top Gun)
TDI
1996 B4V
In California, I would contact the State Bureau of Automotive Repair. Any licensed repair shop in Calif has to display their phone number and BAR registration number. I am sure your state has a similar office. The BAR should "help" the dealer/shop give you the straight story.

Next, I would write down everything you remember, who said what, who would not tell you what was going on.

You may want to get the factory involved with your problem ASAP. You should get a warranty claim going for the record. Does your state have a Lemon Law?
 

Tdijarhead

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Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Wife’s car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
This isn't your fault. Everyone makes mistakes. The dealership will have insurance to cover just such a situation. I would express my confidence to the dealer that he would make it right. I would be firm and polite (at first) and insist on a new truck. Hopefully that is exactly what the owner will suggest without prompting fom you. If he balks then it would be time to seek another recourse.

I own a business, stupid stuff happens. With employees and customers. That's one reason you pay insurance premiums. I'm sure the owner is looking forward to this meeting about as much as you are. Be polite but firm, don't allow your politeness to be misconstrued as an acceptance that you'll take whatever lesser option is suggested.
 

DanG144

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Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Location
Chapin, South Carolina, USA
TDI
2005 A4 Jetta 5spd
This isn't your fault. Everyone makes mistakes. The dealership will have insurance to cover just such a situation. I would express my confidence to the dealer that he would make it right. I would be firm and polite (at first) and insist on a new truck. Hopefully that is exactly what the owner will suggest without prompting fom you. If he balks then it would be time to seek another recourse.

I own a business, stupid stuff happens. With employees and customers. That's one reason you pay insurance premiums. I'm sure the owner is looking forward to this meeting about as much as you are. Be polite but firm, don't allow your politeness to be misconstrued as an acceptance that you'll take whatever lesser option is suggested.
Excellent advice, in my opinion.
 

Hyde7278

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2012
Location
Central Mich
TDI
2001 Golf GL
You might also contact Cummings and ask them there thoughts about there engine being run on gasoline. And if there warrenty would be void or not. If they say they void the warrenty because of this let the owner know this and demand a new truck. I worked at a Ram dealer as a tech for 3 years and Cummings doesn't mess around with there warrenty coverage to the MFG. if the find there engine has been altered or tuned in anyway they void the warrenty immediately. Play Cummings against them. Demand a letter from Cummings stating that the gasoline would not cause any undo wear an the motor and that they will stand behind there engine. And demand a life time warrenty on the fuel system and the engine from Ram. Also demand copy's of all repair orders and tech notes pertaining to this instance.
 

JettaJake

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Joined
Nov 26, 2002
Location
CT TDI Corral
TDI
'03 GLS 5spd
So this happened at essentially zero miles, first time off the sales lot?! A diesel truck filled with gasoline is a defective product. The whole affair is theirs to suffer; accept nothing less than a new/unused, never-mistreated replacement. Good luck!
 

Miss_Athanatos

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Location
Kansas
TDI
2015 Golf SportWagen 6-speed manual; 2016 3500 Ram Tradesman 4X4 6.7L Cummins 6-Speed manual
This isn't your fault. Everyone makes mistakes. The dealership will have insurance to cover just such a situation. I would express my confidence to the dealer that he would make it right. I would be firm and polite (at first) and insist on a new truck. Hopefully that is exactly what the owner will suggest without prompting fom you. If he balks then it would be time to seek another recourse.

I own a business, stupid stuff happens. With employees and customers. That's one reason you pay insurance premiums. I'm sure the owner is looking forward to this meeting about as much as you are. Be polite but firm, don't allow your politeness to be misconstrued as an acceptance that you'll take whatever lesser option is suggested.
Thanks, guys, for all your advice and support. I had my meeting this morning and it turned out very much in my favor. I received a check from the General Manager as payment in full for the truck, and I ordered a new one for the exact same price I paid originally for the damaged one.

I am definitely satisfied and confident to do business again with this dealer, as well as recommend the dealership to family and friends.
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Wife’s car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
That's great news. I'm glad this didn't have to go any further.

Bet that made you smile.
 

TDI smile

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Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Location
Edmonton, Alberta (b4 BC - LOWER MAINLAND = Chilli
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2002 TDI (ALH) with 513,000 km. First Owner and very happy... No Problems, never left us stranded on the Highway. Average useage is about between under 4 ltr. and 5 ltr. Normal longdistance travel: 4.1/100
Nice to hear this had a very good outcome.... Good for this Dealer.
 

whitedog

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Location
Bend, Oregon
TDI
2004 Jetta that I fill by myself
Now they will turn around and sell that truck to someone else. Sucks to be them.

This is why one person can buy a truck and have zero troubles with it and the next guy can't keep its twin running for a month straight.
 

S2000_guy

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Sep 4, 2013
Location
ohio
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2014 Sportwagen TDI
The original post implied that the truck was in for scheduled service; if so, it was already titled and is now a used vehicle.

Kudos to the dealer for just stepping up and doing the right thing right off the bat.
 

whitedog

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Location
Bend, Oregon
TDI
2004 Jetta that I fill by myself
Right, a very low mileage truck sold used. I wonder if it will have a warranty. Kinda makes you pause when they ask if you want to buy warranty on your as-is used rig
 

TDIDaveNH

Left Lane Coal Roller at Large
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Location
North Conway, NH
TDI
1997 Passat TDI x2 1984 Buick Century 4.3 diesel
Glad this worked out well for you. However, not sure I would recommend them to family and friends for doing what you both expected them to do what really needed to be done.
Then there is still the part of a Tech not knowing or attentive enough to tell gas from diesel. If you do send your new truck back in for service and have no choice but to go to this specific dealer, stop and top off the tank(s) before dropping it off, a preventative step if you will, perhaps a locking fuel cap for good measure with the keys separate from the ignition keys, at least for dealer visits.
 

turbovan+tdi

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Abbotsford, BC.
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Glad this worked out well for you. However, not sure I would recommend them to family and friends for doing what you both expected them to do what really needed to be done.
Then there is still the part of a Tech not knowing or attentive enough to tell gas from diesel. If you do send your new truck back in for service and have no choice but to go to this specific dealer, stop and top off the tank(s) before dropping it off, a preventative step if you will, perhaps a locking fuel cap for good measure with the keys separate from the ignition keys, at least for dealer visits.
Really? People make mistakes, and you haven't? They paid her out in full, yes, it took some effort but I've never heard any dealership do that EVER.

That dealership is a diamond in the rough.

The amount of gas that went thru the other truck did no damage but not the point, its still sellable as a good, used truck.
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Wife’s car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
Really? People make mistakes, and you haven't? They paid her out in full, yes, it took some effort but I've never heard any dealership do that EVER.
That dealership is a diamond in the rough.
The amount of gas that went thru the other truck did no damage but not the point, its still sellable as a good, used truck.


Gotta agree, how many times have I seen veteran members on this forum start a thread about filling their car with gasoline. I doesn't take but a moments inattention.

Now put a seasoned mechanic at the wheel or even a kid on his first job neither of whom has ever driven a diesel before. What do you think is going to end up in the tank?

I commend this dealer, he stepped up to the plate, without prompting it sounds like. I would imagine that from now on he puts some type of protocol in place to prevent any future occourance.

No matter what, Stupid stuff happens.
 

Miss_Athanatos

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Location
Kansas
TDI
2015 Golf SportWagen 6-speed manual; 2016 3500 Ram Tradesman 4X4 6.7L Cummins 6-Speed manual
Glad this worked out well for you. However, not sure I would recommend them to family and friends for doing what you both expected them to do what really needed to be done.
Then there is still the part of a Tech not knowing or attentive enough to tell gas from diesel. If you do send your new truck back in for service and have no choice but to go to this specific dealer, stop and top off the tank(s) before dropping it off, a preventative step if you will, perhaps a locking fuel cap for good measure with the keys separate from the ignition keys, at least for dealer visits.
Indeed.

About the tech: it may have been a larger problem, such as the tanker filling the underground diesel storage tank with gasoline.

I agree with topping off the tank in the future just to stay on the safe side. I also have plans of installing a locking cap.
 

Miss_Athanatos

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Location
Kansas
TDI
2015 Golf SportWagen 6-speed manual; 2016 3500 Ram Tradesman 4X4 6.7L Cummins 6-Speed manual
Really? People make mistakes, and you haven't? They paid her out in full, yes, it took some effort but I've never heard any dealership do that EVER.

That dealership is a diamond in the rough.

The amount of gas that went thru the other truck did no damage but not the point, its still sellable as a good, used truck.
The surges that I experienced with the truck were evidence that slugs of gasoline followed by diesel or a gasoline rich diesel mixture had been run through the engine. Even if the pumps and injectors in the fuel system were not damaged, the internal engine components and the emissions system were put in an "unknown" condition. Even if nothing "broke" while they were pushing the engine between 1500 and 2000 RPM to troubleshoot the engine surges, the resulting "unknown" condition makes the truck as a whole bad.

I am not even sure that something didn't really break, since the dealership early on in the meeting nixed the idea of giving me the damaged truck back.
 

DanG144

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Location
Chapin, South Carolina, USA
TDI
2005 A4 Jetta 5spd
I am glad it all worked out to your satisfaction.

Accidents DO happen, and this one looked to be handled well.

The dealer now has an expensively trained employee, and a similar event is much less likely there.

This same type event happened at WAY too many VW dealerships as the poorly trained car washer was sent to fill up the new cars.
 

turbovan+tdi

Top Post Dawg
Joined
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Location
Abbotsford, BC.
TDI
2003 TDI 2.0L ALH, auto, silver wagon, lowered, Colt stage 2 cam, ported head,205 injectors, 1756 turbo, Malone 2.0, 3" exhaust, 18" BBS RC GLI rims. 2004 blue GSW TDI, 5 speed, lowered, GLI BBS wheels painted black, Malone stage 2, Aerotur
The surges that I experienced with the truck were evidence that slugs of gasoline followed by diesel or a gasoline rich diesel mixture had been run through the engine. Even if the pumps and injectors in the fuel system were not damaged, the internal engine components and the emissions system were put in an "unknown" condition. Even if nothing "broke" while they were pushing the engine between 1500 and 2000 RPM to troubleshoot the engine surges, the resulting "unknown" condition makes the truck as a whole bad.

I am not even sure that something didn't really break, since the dealership early on in the meeting nixed the idea of giving me the damaged truck back.
I've drained out at least a dozen modern CR diesel engines that were misfueled, some badly, and all are still on the road today. One Dmax I did was misfueled twice, traffic control truck, that was last year and still running strong, :p

Its possible your truck got damaged but doesn't matter, you got a new one, its all good, ;)
 

Wankel7

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Location
Indiana
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon
Thanks, guys, for all your advice and support. I had my meeting this morning and it turned out very much in my favor. I received a check from the General Manager as payment in full for the truck, and I ordered a new one for the exact same price I paid originally for the damaged one.

I am definitely satisfied and confident to do business again with this dealer, as well as recommend the dealership to family and friends.
Is this handled as a trade?

If not are they going to pay your registration and sales tax on the new truck?
 

Miss_Athanatos

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Location
Kansas
TDI
2015 Golf SportWagen 6-speed manual; 2016 3500 Ram Tradesman 4X4 6.7L Cummins 6-Speed manual
Is this handled as a trade?

If not are they going to pay your registration and sales tax on the new truck?
I hadn't received the paper title in the mail yet, so registration fee doesn't need to be handled, fortunately. As far as sales tax goes, I was refunded the sales tax paid, so all square there.

I don't know how the dealership are handling this matter internally for administrative purposes, but no one is acting to me like this is treated as a trade. Typically for a trade there's some diminished value in exchange, but I received the original purchase price, sales tax, etc. all refunded to me in full.

I did get an update from the Chrysler customer service that this incident is going on the truck's record with Chrysler and that it was in fact destroyed by the damage incurred by running it for service evaluation. That's probably why there was no consideration of giving the truck back to me after draining the tank and flushing the system. The truck became inoperable. I was also informed that should the dealership attempt to make an insurance claim that carfax would be alerted as to the nature of the incident and damage to the vehicle.

I'm really looking forward to my new pickup.
 
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