Date:September 16, 2018
From:ENCM Gene Fisher (USN Retired)
Fred Meyer/Kroger Company continuously damages and voids warranties with impunity by mis- fueling diesel vehicles with gasoline. (See) https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0138-auto-warranties-routine-maintenance#what
On May 12th the Fuel Station at Fred Meyer in Warrenton, OR filled my 30 gallon tank in my diesel truck with 28 gallons of unleaded gasoline. They did not reimburse me for the rental truck, lost business income, nor even the gas I paid for during the mis-fueling. I even had to give away a week’s worth of food I bought at their store for a fishing trip for my crew. I have the dealer’s mandatory service bulletin outlining the bare minimum flushing of the tank and fuel system in my truck and Fred Meyer’s “go to” repair shop (TJ Auto Repair) did not even follow Chrysler Dodge’s own service bulletin requirements. In fact, according to the Dodge and Cummins dealer service manager, Lum’s Auto Chrysler Engineering will nullify the warranty on a truck that has not had the entire fuel system replaced because the very small tolerances for diesel injectors and fuel pumps are severely compromised, due to the lack of lubrication in gasoline. I have documentation that Cummins engine manufacturer will void warranty for mis-fueliing their engines. My research indicates that all manufacturers will do the same. We did not realize that our vehicle was mis-fueled until it ran 35 miles and stopped. When I tried restarting the engine it over sped, pegging the rpm gauge. Everyone knows that over speeding compromises internal parts of an engine. When Fred Meyer sent a tow truck we insisted it be taken to an authorized Dodge dealer. Instead they towed it to their “short cut auto repair shop”. We then told both TJ Auto and Fred Meyer management they were not certified for Dodge or Cummins repair, and they did not have our authorization to work on our vehicle, but we were ignored. All they did was incorrectly flush the system which may suffice if the engine had not been run. I have the Chrysler service bulletin for flushing the system if the engine was not run and T. J. Auto Repair’s invoice depicts they did not even come close to meeting those requirements. After 4 days Sedgwick’s arrogant claims examiner called us and said you either pick up the vehicle or we are starting significant storage fees tomorrow.
I missed a fishing trip (annual season daily average of $2000 a day) because I could not rent a vehicle that has towing capability to tow my work trailer to retrofit my boat to fish tuna. I had to take a taxi from Long Beach, WA to Astoria, OR to rent a vehicle to at least have transportation. The rental company said that Fred Meyer had 4 mis-fueling incidents during the previous few months because they rented the replacement vehicles. I found out that it is just the tip of the iceberg! Fred Meyer is voiding warranty and short cutting repairs to many unsuspecting customers and is getting away with it via their insurance company, Sedgwick. I decided someone has to stand up to them and as a diesel expert contracted to Technical Advisory Services for Attorneys (TASA) for the past 25 years with many similar improper maintenances cases, it may as well be me. We filed a claim in Small Claims court against Kroger Company, owner of Fred Meyer; their answer was “see you in court”, understandably they are afraid if they give into me others will follow and my research has found many other victims. This should probably be a class action suit.
My truck still runs, but I know that I have a significant loss of power and smoke presence caused by worn fuel injectors not fully atomizing the fuel needed for complete combustion, due to the lack of lubrication in my fuel system. I just pulled my 36’ office /RV trailer back to NV, after the end of my commercial fishing season. I have taken the same route many times and know for a fact I have lost significant power and an average of 3 miles per gallon.
I am not letting them get away with this farce and I have already purchased my airline tickets for the court case. I am retired and have the time, the funds, and the ability to spend an hour a day to continually give Fred Meyer/Kroger and Sedgewick Insurance the advertising they deserve via Internet, linked home pages below, social media, and consumer complaints.
However, I worry about taking on a big company in a local jurisdiction for obvious reasons. My deckhands live in the area and have agreed to not only picket the Warrenton fueling facilities for me, but they will hire the local homeless to help.
https://www.bbb.org/consumer-complaints/file-a-complaint/get-started Better Business Bureau (BBB)
ENCM Gene Fisher (USN Retired)
Product or Service Mentioned: Fred Meyer Diesel Tank Refill.
Reason of review: Damaged or defective.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I didn't like: Customer service and refusal to correct gross is-fueling error.