Eagle Rock gas station allegedly sold tainted fuel

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City Attorney Mike Feuer announced criminal charges Thursday against the owners of an Eagle Rock gas station, who allegedly sold substandard gasoline that damaged at least nine cars. (KABC)

At least nine vehicles that filled up at a gas station in Eagle Rock are now damaged, and the city has since filed criminal charges against the owners of the former 76 Station for allegedly selling tainted fuel.

"I noticed some water coming out of the exhaust, the tail pipe, and I thought it was some condensation or something and it ended up ruining my vintage Mercedes," Mark Sparks said.

Dan Leiner's brand new truck was also damaged after visiting the gas station in the 1800 block of Colorado Boulevard last year.

"The bottom of the fuel tank was just covered with this black sludge that they couldn't even clean off, so they ended up having to replace the entire fuel system," he said.

Leiner ended up paying over $6,400, and Sparks says the damage to his vehicle cost him over $6,000 as well.

City Attorney Mike Feuer announced criminal charges Thursday against Akop Akopyan and Gloria Cubides, both 54, and their delivery company, MJ Tank Lines Inc.

"Substandard gasoline puts drivers at risk of serious car malfunctions, or even accidents," Feuer said. "We're going to hold any gas station or supplier that cuts corners and harms consumers accountable for their illegal practices."

Akopyan and Cubides are scheduled to be arraigned on March 24 on six counts of misrepresenting the gasoline's grade and quality, Feuer said. If convicted, they face up to 2 1/2 years in jail and $5,000 in fines.

Meanwhile, the victims are still dealing with the aftermath and finding little help in terms of reimbursement.

"Because of the loss of the warranty and the damage, it's declined in value over $8,500 so to trade it in and get it replaced, I would have over a $10,000 loss," Leiner said.
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