Chevron reaches deal with San Ramon motorists after diesel mixup

SAN RAMON, Calif. (KGO) -- Chevron says it's reached agreements with the vast majority of at least 60 motorists whose gasoline engines were damaged by diesel fuel. The oil company has acknowledged the blunder happened on its end as a result of human error.

"It won't even turn." Giselle Fernandez unsuccessfully tried to start her engine when we first met her back in late May.

Her car had been in the shop for so long her battery had died.

Today it's a different story. Her 2015 Subaru now has a new engine after a long negotiation with Chevron's insurance company.

Chevron admitted weeks ago to 7 On Your Side that a third party supplier accidentally put diesel fuel into the supply of regular gasoline at its station on Crow Canyon in San Ramon.

Giselle was one of at least 60 customers who filed complaints with Chevron. She recalls what happened moments after filling up her tank.

"It was losing power," said Giselle. "It was really jerky. Like I'd push on the gas and not too much power would happen."

The folks at Fairfield Subaru told her a simple engine flush would not be enough. "As soon as the guy started it, he said,'ma'am, your engine's gone.'"

A mechanic told us the smoke that spewed from the tailpipe was a telltale sign that diesel had gotten deep into the fuel injectors.

She would need a new engine.

"The first offer was $3,500. We're just going to flush something. The second offer was $5,000 something to flush more things. But according to my technician, they would have to take the engine out," Giselle recalled.

Negotiations got easier after our initial story aired and we contacted Chevron.

They eventually sent her a check for 10 thousand dollars to replace her entire engine.

Chevron told us "We have resolved the vast majority of claims related to this incident and remain committed to addressing any customer concerns about the quality of their fuel."

"I fought," said Giselle. "You fought and because of you guys, hopefully other people are getting the same help."

For more stories, photos, and video from Michael Finney and 7 on Your Side, visit this page.

Produced by Randall Yip
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