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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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I rented a car in Wash. DC and drove to flordia. I was the

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I rented a car in Wash. DC and drove to flordia. I was the only driver and the only one to put gas into the car.. On the way back from Florida to South Carolina the car died on the side of the road. The rental company sent a tow truck and I was given a new car. When I returned to Guam three weeks later I received a bill for $811.00 stating that they found Diesel fuel in the engine. Again for more than three weeks I was the sole driver and the only one to put fuel in the car. I can 100% guarantee that I never put diesel fuel or even got near to the deisel pumps. What should I do?

Thanks for your help
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

I would fight the claim. First and foremost, a diesel nozzle won't even fit in the gas tank of a car that uses unleaded gas. They are purposely made too large in order to prevent exactly this kind of mistake. So, a person would have had to try pretty hard to get diesel fuel in the tank, and mistakes are unlikely.

If I were you, I would write the rental car company a letter and deny ever using diesel fuel. You may wish to point out the size of the nozzle, as mentioned above, and that you only used regular unleaded gas. The rental company's recourse would be to sue you. And in a lawsuit, they'd have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that you put diesel fuel in the car. That would likely require expert testimony from a mechanic who can testify about finding the diesel fuel in the tank, and testify that the damage to the vehicle was consistent with diesel fuel being in the tank, and most importantly, that it would have been impossible for diesel fuel to be in the tank unless you had put it there sometime after you picked up the car.

For $800, I seriously doubt the rental company will bother with a lawsuit.

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