By now, you may have heard about the tainted gasoline that has made its way to gas stations throughout Illinois. In August, BP admitted that it delivered some 4.7 million gallons of misformulated gas to hundreds of locations in the Midwest, including some 300 gas stations in Illinois alone. The tainted gas, which was sold in all grades from regular to premium, was shipped to stations between August 14 and 17. (To see which stations are affected, you can check out BP’s searchable database of affected gas stations.)
Motorists who filled up their vehicles’ gas tanks with this tainted fuel reported hard starts, rough idling, and sudden engine stalling. Many of them were forced to take their vehicles into repair shops to have the fuel systems flushed and cleaned, which can cost several hundred dollars. If you are one of these drivers who has had to seek repairs due to tainted gas, you can contact BP to file a claim.
Even though tainted fuel can cause engine damage, can it also cause an Illinois auto accident?
It’s possible. If you unknowingly filled up your car with misformulated gasoline, and then experienced an engine stall or similar mechanical problem that directly led to an accident, then you may be eligible to obtain relief from BP. Some scenarios where this could happen include:
- being struck by a vehicle while making a left turn after your vehicle stalled in the roadway in the direct path of oncoming traffic
- having your vehicle’s engine stall and shut down just as you accelerate from a stop, and your vehicle subsequently rolls off the roadway and collides with an object
- having your vehicle’s engine stall and shut down while on an upward-sloping road, and your vehicle subsequently rolls backward into another vehicle
- having your vehicle’s engine stall or shut down while trying to merge onto a busy freeway, and getting hit by a car traveling faster than you
If you are injured in this type of auto accident – whether the tainted gas caused the problem in your vehicle or someone else’s – then you may be able to name BP as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit. While it’s unlikely that the oil refiner will be held fully responsible for any such accident, a jury may determine that BP shares some degree of liability. If you are unsure about whether this situation may apply to you, contact an Illinois auto accident attorney.