WHITING, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana attorney general’s office on Wednesday
opened an investigation to ensure BP quickly responds to consumers’
complaints about vehicles damaged by contaminated gasoline that was
distributed from storage terminals in Whiting and Milwaukee.
“We are closely monitoring the response by BP and will be reviewing their
claims and reimbursement processes,” Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. “As
the watchdog for Indiana consumers my office has a duty to ensure consumer’s
rights are protected and that there is no undue delay in appropriate
BP announced Monday it was recalling 2.1 million gallons of regular grade
because it contained a higher level of a residue, which could prevent
vehicles from starting, make it hard to start engines, cause the engine to
shake or cause the check engine light to turn on.
BP estimates about 200 gas stations in northwest Indiana and the Chicago
area and another 20 in the Milwaukee area received the tainted gas. BP said
in a release Wednesday it is continuing to contact retailers who may have
received tainted gasoline.
The investigation by the attorney general’s office is in response to
consumers’ calls, said Erin Reese, a spokeswoman for Zoeller. She said the
volume of the number of people who could be affected was another reason the
attorney general’s office is getting involved.
The Times of Munster reported that some people calling the BP customer
service line on Tuesday were on hold for two hours. Others said BP was
making it difficult for them to receive compensation.
BP spokesman Scott Dean says the company will cooperate with the
investigation. He said BP began adding staffers to the customer service
lines as more than 5,000 people contacted BP on Tuesday and another 2,000
contacted BP Wednesday.
“We’re seeing reduced hold times now,” he said.
The company also added a second toll-free number for people to call. He also
said BP would stand behind its guarantee of reimbursing customers for
fuel-related repairs. He said BP will work to process claims as quickly as
possible. He said people should save sales receipt from when they bought the
gasoline and a copy of repair bills, saying it will help with the process.
He said BP will work with people who don’t have receipts, although he said
those might take longer.
“We’re going to try to work with people no matter what the circumstances
are,” he said.
BP asks customers who believe their vehicles were damaged by tainted
gasoline to call their hotlines at 1-800-333-3991 or 1-800-599-9040 or to
submit an online inquiry at
Victims can also file a separate complaint with the attorney general’s
office by visiting
by calling 1-800-382-5516 to request a hard copy of the form.