Traveling for Thanksgiving? Be careful where you fill up your gas tank

Traveling for Thanksgiving? Be careful where you fill up your gas tank

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — If you need to fill up your gas tank before Thanksgiving, be careful where you stop.

Channel 9 found dozens of stations in Mecklenburg County that are accused of selling tainted gas.

It's an issue we've followed all year, and we just learned the problem is only getting worse.

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North Carolina inspectors collect samples from pumps across the state and condemn the ones that are contaminated with water, sediment or aren't the correct octane.

Inspectors condemned 70 pumps at dozens of gas stations in Charlotte​ this year​​​​​ -- a 30 percent increase from last year, when they condemned 53 pumps.

Driver Benedict Vani fueled up at a pump condemned in June for water in the fuel.

"I think it needs to be regulated, needs to make sure what we're putting in our fuel tank is what we're buying," Vani said.

Valerie Jackson told Channel 9 she is traveling to Atlanta for the holidays.

"I'm fueling up to head out on a trip and hopefully my car will work fine," she said.

But when drivers use tainted gas, their car engines can be ruined.

Channel 9 has talked to several drivers this year who said their cars broke down after using fuel from condemned pumps.

Inspectors said that if drivers have a problem after filling up, they should call the number on the pump to report the issue immediately.