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The nozzel has to extend into the tank for the pump to work. There is a small door on the tank filler pipe that would not allow just fuel in without the whole nozzel. It all goes back to a non-functioing DMV in Arizona! and poor administration by a major gas chain.
There is a darn good reason large fuel nozzels on diesel tanks are installed in most if not all states but Arizona.
I'll bet, before this post, everyone here would have bet it was a federal mandate on nozzel size. So I guess we do need laws for protection from these things happening. Seems like "common sense" won't hack it.
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Yes, I have requested a copy of the receipt, and I hope it shows what gas was dispensed. If it was my daughter's fault, that's fine, we chalk it up to inexperience and we move on. I doubt that the nozzle did not fit all the way into the filler tube, or she wouldn't have been able to pump $25 worth.

I now have a rental to drive, which is covered under my insurance policy, and the insurance company is sending an inspector out to the dealer on Monday. So it's going to be awhile longer. I am thrilled that insurance is covering this (less the deductible, but still, it's a good thing). Stay tuned...
 

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You may get some help from the insurance company if they think that there was contaminated fuel dispensed by that station, because they will want to get their money back.
 

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Your daughter was unfortunately caught by something that might have fooled a lot of us. There does not seem to be any federal requirement that Diesel and unleaded nozzles be of different sizes. There is a requirement that leaded and unleaded gasoline nozzles have different sizes, which seems essentially useless now (how many automobile service stations sell leaded gasoline)? Diesel nozzles were originally the same size as leaded gasoline nozzles (and larger) but nothing prevents a retailer from using the smaller nozzle. Sheesh!
 

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Discussion Starter #65
Quick update: The insurance company inspector just called from the dealer to give me the total, which will come to $2300 and change. The car will be done in 2 or 3 days, depending on when the parts come in. Again, thank God for insurance!
 

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Discussion Starter #68
I have no idea! Like I said, the dealer suggested it, and the adjuster said they had another case of diesel misfueling just last week. Which they also paid. I am just grateful.
 

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Discussion Starter #70
Update: Yesterday the dealer called to tell me that they also had to replace the catalytic converter. New total: $4800. I am just hoping and praying that Mercury doesn't pull the rug out from under us.

The service manager said to me: "A week after we started on your car, a Camry came in here that had diesel in it, and it was fixed and out of here the same day, we just pumped out the diesel and flushed it out and it was fine." So, it's some flaw in the Prius? So I said, "How far did the Camry get driven with the diesel in it, because mine went 98 miles." "Not that far." "And it took you quite awhile to diagnose mine, you were trying to start it for several days with the diesel still in it, before you figured out what the problem was." "Yeah I guess so." Geez. So glad the Camry owner was able to benefit from the (very expensive) training that my Prius provided for her crackerjack staff.

Anyway, we are going to pick it up on Saturday morning. Fingers crossed!
 

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Shawn,
Wow, more bad news! And it has now been a month since this happened, right? It would be kind of crummy on the part of Mercury to bail on you at this point, given that they have agreed to fix the car in the first place. As I mentioned before, you ought to give the car a really good test drive in the area before heading home from Palm Springs. Going to be hot out there this weekend, that's for sure. Best of luck, and we'll be looking for a (hopefully good) final report.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
Success! Car runs great, looks great, I saw the check that Mercury sent to the dealer (they need to send one more), took back the rental, and we're good! Just have to reset my radio stations, and disable the backup beep (again).

Thanks everyone for the wonderful support and suggestions! If you have younger drivers in your house, be sure to include Unleaded vs. Diesel 101 in your driver's ed curriculum!
 

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Re: Catastrophic Failure on the Highway (not the car's fault)

shawn said:
Oh boy. Turns out, sadly, that firepa was not far off. The dealer called this morning to say that there was diesel in the tank. And really, I did not believe it until I spent all morning on the phone with VISA and several Mobil stations in Arizona, as we don't know where the receipt is, but finally got hold of the right gas station, and they confirmed it was diesel. So it is being fixed, for $891, and I hope that no permanent damage was done....

Thanks again so much everybody for all the support, this was not the ending I expected at all. Daughter is very upset, but forgiven and has learned an expensive lesson.
And, since there was an extra 3 1/2 quarts of "something" in the crankcase, I suppose 3 1/2 qts of diesel were pumped into the crankcase before the error was noticed. :lol: :mrgreen:
 
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