As WSBT'S chief photographer, we'd like to think DeMarco Brown has all the answers. But after returning home from a vacation out west, one thing left him puzzled: What's wrong with the family van?
"Gassed up, everything was fine," said Brown. "Got home -- next day started the car and it had a hard time turning over."
The problems continued, even though mechanics found nothing wrong.
"We took it to the shop, they checked it and couldn't find a problem. Nothing wrong," said Brown. "They kept it overnight, looked at it the next day – still had no problem."
Brown realized what was wrong while working on one of the newscasts.
"Editing one of the stories about people having problems with BP gas in this area, I'm like, ‘Oh, that's where I stopped and got gas: At a BP.’"
After learning more from the wires, he realized he was on to something.
Regular unleaded fuel. Check. Station in Northwest Indiana. Check. Car problems after refueling within the last 7 days. Check.
Brown put two and two together.
BP confirmed between August 13 through the 17th, a batch of gasoline shipped from Whiting, Indiana to BP stations throughout Northwest Indiana had too much of an ingredient that caused a lot of problems.
Among the problems: A hard start. But in some cases people's cars would start then die out.
"Clack, clack, clack. I was like, ‘Oh, I need a tune up,’" said Margie Smith. "It's crazy, you pay too much money for these cars."
BP said they are taking steps to work with customers whose cars need repairs because of fuel issues. Customers whose vehicles have experienced hard starting or other problems caused by the fuel should send it an email at bpconsum(at)bp.com or call 1-800-333-3991. The company says customers should provide receipts for the repairs and fuel purchase, if available, or credit card bills showing the fuel purchase at affected retailers.