wjxt logo

Fuel issues at Southeast Georgia gas station cost drivers hundreds of dollars

The News4Jax I-TEAM is looking into the case of potentially bad gas that was sold at a Southeast Georgia gas station. Over the weekend, News4Jax first reported that the vehicles of around 20 drivers broke down shortly after purchasing gas at the Pilot Travel Plaza in St. Marys.

ST MARYS, Ga. – The News4Jax I-TEAM is looking into the case of potentially bad gas that was sold at a Southeast Georgia gas station.

Over the weekend, News4Jax first reported that the vehicles of around 20 drivers broke down shortly after purchasing gas at the Pilot Travel Plaza in St. Marys.

The gas station seemed to be operating as usual on Monday, but it’s been costly for drivers. One woman said the ordeal has cost her hundreds of dollars.

Serena Brown, who lives in Jacksonville, said her truck broke down shortly after pulling out of the station.

“I called corporate and let them know about that,” Brown said. “They told us that we have to tow our vehicle at our own expense and they would get back to us. So I assumed they would get back to me today. Well, I didn’t hear from them so I called them myself.”

Now Brown said she’s forced to pay more than $800 combined in towing and repairs.

St. Marys Police Department investigates after reports of multiple cars breaking down after filling up at a Georgia gas station. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

St. Marys Police Department responded to the issue but the agency told News4Jax the state is now in charge of the investigation. The Department of Agriculture has a unit that regulates gas stations.

News4Jax asked a local mechanic about the issue. They said if it is a case of defective gas it can be repaired, but it isn’t an easy fix. The gas tank has to be removed and dropped and fuel filters need to be replaced and the majority of the cost would be the labor, the mechanic said.

Since news of the issue has spread people like Laura Moody also contacted News4Jax. Moody said she had something similar happen weeks ago.

“My car started having issues and my check engine light came on and I had to pull off on the side of the road,” Moody said.

Pilot issued a statement to News4Jax after we asked for comment: “Thank you for reaching out. We are looking into this matter and will be in touch shortly.”

Tuesday morning, Pilot issued an updated statement:

We are aware of a possible contamination issue with regular unleaded fuel dispensed at the Pilot Travel Center located in St. Mary’s, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 6 that may have affected a few guests.

Upon being alerted to the potential issue, we immediately turned off the dispensers and started investigating the situation. It appears excessive rain made its way into the regular unleaded tank, which is now in the process of being tested and repaired. Currently, all dispensers are operational and selling super unleaded fuel at the regular unleaded price until the situation is fully resolved. We are continuing to closely monitor the fuel at this location.

The travel center is located at Exit 1 on I-95 and the address is 491 St. Mary’s Road, St. Mary’s, Ga. If you purchased unleaded fuel at this location on Nov. 6 from 4:00 to 4:30 pm ET, and are having potential issues, please contact us at (877) 866-7378 so we can work to resolve your concerns.

News4Jax has also reached out to the Georgia Department of Agriculture.


About the Author:

Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.