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Diesal Fuel Damaged 2021 Mercedes

Discussion in 'Car Sales, Dealers, Repairs, Lemon Law' started by Guitar Guy, Aug 26, 2021.

  1. Guitar Guy

    Guitar Guy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I hope someone can help me with my current situation. I was given a brand new 2021 Mercedes-Benz as a gift for helping out my family with a difficult situation (I could never afford a Mercedes on my own). Last week, I went to put 93 octane in at a major gas station brand like I always do.

    Unfortunately, when I started to drive away I noticed the car was making an awful noise. Also, it was driving very sluggish, and would barely move. I immediately had it towed to the dealer, and they told me I had filled the tank up with diesel fuel.

    I went back to the gas station where I filled up the tank, and they had already acknowledged the issue. The oil company put diesel fuel in the 93 octane slot! They put two yellow "out of order" stickies on the 93 and 89 octane buttons at the pump that I used. Also, the oil company was on the premises attempting to correct the issue.

    I took several photos of everything, including the oil companies vice president frantically trying to correct the problem. I have it in writing that the gas station acknowledged that I pumped gas there. I also have it in writing that the oil company will pay the charges once they have an estimate from Mercedes.

    Unfortunately, I have run into a few issues. Nobody will give me a free loaner/rental car. I am walking, or asking for rides from people if I want to go somewhere. The Mercedes dealership is dragging their feet, once again...

    I had to take this car to the dealership because of a warranty issue back in July. They kept it for six weeks, and didn't provide a loaner car for me. The bottom line is, my brand new Mercedes has serious fuel system damage and may never be the same again. Nobody will rent me a car, and I am starting to get the runaround from everybody.

    Mercedes is dragging their feet, the oil company won't offer me a rental, and the large, famous gas station company barely understands what is going on. I am extremely frustrated with this entire situation. My friends and family are telling me that I am too nice, professional, and polite. People tend to walk all over me because of this.

    Sorry this post was so long, but it has really been eating at me. Should the oil company/gas station give me some kind of compensation? I was just looking for some advice and information. Thank you so much for your time.

    Guitar Guy
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Sooner or later the service station will make you whole, IF things are EXACTLY as you revealed.

    Until sooner or later arrives, you'll have to foot the bill for a rental car.

    If your funds on hand are too limited to do so, you'll be taking public transportation, Uber, or walking.

    Will comprehensive insurance cover your loss?

    Maybe, it depends on your insurer.

    Mine will, because I just posed the hypothetical to one of their customer service representatives.

    Will yours?

    It'll cost you zero dollars to inquire.

    What Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover? (2021 Guide)
     
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  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Sure. But it's obvious that they aren't going to give it to you now or in pieces.

    The measure of your damages are the cost of repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle AND the loss of use of your vehicle. But that's not unlimited. You have to mitigate. To understand that, consider this example.

    If it costs you $60 per day to rent a car, that's about $1800 for a month. From what you relate it's likely to take months to settle the claim and get your car fixed or replaced. That could run into many thousands of dollars that the oil company will not pay if you could have mitigated by buying yourself a cheap car to run around in for a few months and then sell it when you no longer need it. The measure of your loss of use would be the difference between what you paid for the car and what you sell it for which could be just a few hundred dollars. And even if the claim miraculously got settled in a couple of weeks there would still be the matter of mitigation that the oil company can use as a defense to a big rental car bill.
     
  4. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    Your car is not seriously damaged. You are not the first car owner that ended up with diesel in there gas tank.

    So get an estimate from your dealer to purge the fuel system and submit it to the gas station. Have you done that yet?
     
  5. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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    It is a lot worse to put gasoline in a diesel engine not the other way around. The system is not as robust as the actual diesel system is. Depending on whether or not it is direct injection then you will probably get away with a few filter replacements and a fuel system flush. Had it been the other way around you would probably be looking at 10s of thousand of dollars. Like has been said the fuel station or its owners should be responsible for the repair.

    good luck with it.
     
  6. Guitar Guy

    Guitar Guy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for the replies, I really appreciate it. I guess I will just keep putting pressure on the Mercedes Benz dealership to get me an estimate of the damages. Once I get that, I will submit it to Shell Oil Company, and also to Willoughby Oil Company. It's unfortunate that I don't have a leg to stand on, and the large companies can get away with this.

    Mercedes won't even give me the free maintenance plan they promised me for my earlier inconvenience, because diesel fuel was put in my tank. That plan was worth $1,500, which could go toward oil changes, etc... I even got written up at work the other day because I was late. I couldn't find anyone willing to give me a ride. One more write up, and I will lose my job. Thanks again for all the free advice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Losing your job for being late or not showing up will not be part of your claim.

    Get yourself a car or call Uber or Lyft or a taxi early enough to get to work on time. Put a notice on the company bulletin board to see if someone will carpool you.
     
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  8. Guitar Guy

    Guitar Guy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I just wanted to give an update on my situation. The dealership fixed my car, and I am driving it now. Nationwide paid all the charges, and also paid me for a rental car. However, they will not pay me for diminished value. They said because I live in Tennessee, they do not have to pay that. Am I being completely out of line asking for compensation for diminished value, and also for all the trouble this has caused me?
     
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  9. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    If your car was properly repaired, there is no diminished value.
     
  10. Guitar Guy

    Guitar Guy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I appreciate the reply. The dealership reported the issue to CarFax, that is why I am asking for compensation. It appears as if I have no right to receive anything, but it will make me feel better by going public with it. I will be professional, polite, and only tell the truth. Thanks for all the replies.
     
  11. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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    NM Tennessee doesn't recognize diminished value under Black vs State Farm.

    There is conflicting information out there.
     
  12. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    What wreck?
     
  13. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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    Yes, fuel issue. I assumed it was a wreck. My bad. Tennessee has an ambiguous litigious diminished value burden of proof. Which really would not apply in this case.
     
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  14. Guitar Guy

    Guitar Guy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    One rep at Nationwide said it doesn't matter what lawyers on the internet are saying, TN is not a diminished value state. I am not getting a dime, and there is nothing I can do about it. Anyway, thank you guys so much for your time, I really do appreciate it.
     
  15. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I'd heed that agent's admonishment, mate.
     
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  16. Guitar Guy

    Guitar Guy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I don't let things go that easily...
     
  17. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Active Member

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  18. Guitar Guy

    Guitar Guy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for that information, Redemptionman. I am not an attorney, but that does not look good for me.
     
  19. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Black v. State Farm was a first party lawsuit - an insured against his own insurance company.

    In a third party lawsuit for negligence in Tennessee (I quote from the link provided by Redemptionman):

    "The measure of third-party damages is either repair costs or the difference in market value immediately before and after the accident. It is not both. There is no definitive case law indicating that a diminution in value measured after the repair is a recognized element of allowable damages in Tennessee. GEICO v. Bloodworth, 2007 WL 1966022 (Tenn. App. 2007). Although Bloodworth did not specifically pronounce that post-repair diminution in value claims are viable in Tennessee (it was a class action suit and the issue had to do with certification as such), it did say that in order to prove residual diminution in value, the owner has to prove (1) the vehicle’s pre-accident condition and value (taking into consideration, e.g., other damage to the vehicle); (2) the vehicle’s post-accident value; and (3) proof that the repair did not restore the vehicle to substantially the same value it had before the accident. Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Bloodworth, 2007 WL 1966022 (Tenn. App. 2007)"

    There are some diminished value lawsuit decisions on Google Scholar which I don't have time to read so I don't know whether they will be any help to you.

    diminished value - Google Scholar

    I don't know what your car cost new or what you think the current value is due to the CarFax stigma but there is no doubt that to litigate for diminished value you would have to hire a lawyer, sue the dealer, and pay for expert testimony. You could be looking at spending tens of thousands in lawyer and expert fees with no guarantee of winning.

    In Tennessee, claims up to $25,000 are handled in the General Sessions Court. Lawyers are optional but you can bet that the dealer's insurance company will have their lawyer and their expert so you aren't likely to be successful without a lawyer and your own expert. This is big time, not like the small claims courts of other states where the limits are a few thousand and lawyers are not permitted.

    Something to think about.
     
  20. Guitar Guy

    Guitar Guy Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am now being threatened to be sued for libel/slander/defamation for a website I created. I have already removed the website, so hopefully this will die down soon.
     

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