Royal Dutch Shell Group .com
The Wall Street
Journal: Florida Drivers Sue Shell Over High-sulfur Gasoline
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
June 1, 2004 11:08 p.m.
2 June 02
LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP)--Amid thousands of similar complaints, two drivers who
say fuel gauges on their cars were damaged by high-sulfur gasoline sued Shell
Oil Co. and its refiner Tuesday in federal court.
Cynthia Chowdhury and Marilyn Fisher accused
Shell and Motiva Enterprises LLC. of violating Florida law by engaging in
unfair and deceptive trade practices.
The suit says the companies knew, or should have known, that gasoline with
high levels of sulfur would damage vehicles, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The drivers seek class-action status and a court order to force the companies
to inspect affected vehicles for up to a year and cover the cost of any
As of Tuesday afternoon, Shell said it received about 15,000 calls from
consumers in Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana about the tainted gas. About
9,000 claims have been filed to fix faulty gas gauges in the three states.
Motiva spokeswoman Helen Bow said the first reimbursement checks for claims
that have been resolved will go out Friday.
About 400 Shell and Texaco stations, including 300 in south Florida, were
affected by high levels of sulfur in gas supplied by Motiva. A small number of
stations with other brand names also may have received the bad gas because
Shell and Motiva have exchange agreements with other suppliers.
Shell officials have said the sulfur-tainted fuel can corrode silver sensors
in fuel gauges. Repairs can cost from $300 to $600 or more.