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Lawsuit seeks up to $100 million for up to one million drivers lawsuit seeks up to $100 million for up to one million drivers

Posted 10 June 04

Shell Oil Says It Will Pay For Rental Cars, Towing Fees: Class-Action Lawsuit Seeks More Money For Drivers Stuck With Bad Gas

MIAMI, Fla. — Shell Oil says, it will pay towing fees and car rentals for drivers whose cars were damaged by a bad batch of their gasoline.

Last month, gasoline distributed to Shell, Texaco, and potentially other stations across Florida and Louisiana had excessive sulfur. The sulfur damaged gas gauges on thousands of vehicles, causing them to read “full” even when empty.

Shell has said it will reimburse the cost of replacing bad fuel gauges, a repair job that costs anywhere from $400 to $1000. At least 9000 customers have filed claims with Shell Oil.

But Tuesday, Miami attorney John Ruiz filed a class-action lawsuit against Shell Oil and its refiner, Motiva Enterprises, saying the companies should agree to pay other expenses, such as rental cars, towing, lost fuel, diminished value of vehicles, and any other repairs.

Plaintiff Myriam Valle told NBC 6 she wants Shell to pay for a rental car when she gets her Lincoln Town Car fixed. “My husband is a very sick person,” said Valle. “I will definitely need to have a rental car to move because of the health of my husband.”

Shell Oil Products and Motiva spokesperson Karyn Leonardi-Cattolica told NBC 6, “Motiva will pay valid claims for reimbursement where customers have incurred reasonable towing or rental car expenses as a result of the gas gauge issue. Customers will need to contact our customer service center and submit receipts for our review. I can tell you that Motiva has already paid some claims related to towing and car rentals.”

Leonardi-Cattolica said, Shell has not seen the lawsuit and declined to comment on whether Shell will pay other claims sought by Ruiz. The lawsuit seeks up to $100 million for up to one million drivers.

Another class-action lawsuit over bad fuel was filed last week in federal court.

Shell’s customer service line is 1-888-502-7323.

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