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CORPUS CHRISTI -- Valero mailed 150 checks last week to reimburse some customers for car troubles due to a bad batch of gasoline in the region causing failed fuel pumps, but there could be more checks coming as customers try to prove their case to the refining and marketing company, according to area television station KRIS-TV.
Customers who file claims with Valero must prove they had problems in 2008 and send documentation and receipts of when and where they gassed up and the auto repairs to the vehicle's fuel system, along with details on any other expenses, such as towing.
Valero representative Bill Day told KRIS-TV, "We're going to step up and take care of them as a customer service thing. It seems like the right thing to do."
Day added each claim is handled individually, and each driver gets a different amount of money back. On top of that, Valero is adding an additional $25 Valero gift card to reimbursed customers.
In September, local car dealerships noticed an usually large number of customers coming in with burned out fuel pumps. While a cause was never determined, local mechanics blamed the problems on a batch of bad gasoline, the report stated.
State Representative Abel Herrero then launched an investigation to find the source of the problem. The Texas Department of Agriculture tested samples of local gasoline and did not find problems, and the Environmental Protection Agency also investigated the situation, but has not completed a report to date, according to the report.
Valero also conducted its own investigation.
"We sent a number of failed fuel pumps to a research lab at a university. We had our scientists look at the results,” said Day, adding Valero did not find any fault with its fuel, but did decide to upgrade its refining processes and add more inspections to avoid any similar problems in the future.
"We're a customer service organization and we want people to be comfortable buying Valero gasoline," Day told KRIS-TV. "We go around guaranteeing all our gasoline and, well, this is what we mean when we say we're going to guarantee it."
Valero is welcoming claims from the entirety of this year, but customers must go through its customer service center, which can be reached at (886) 297-6093.