3 state AGs in gas recall probe

2012-08-29T17:30:00Z 2012-08-30T08:09:29Z 3 state AGs in gas recall probeBowdeya Tweh bowdeya.tweh@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com

Attorneys general from Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin are continuing their investigation into the BP gasoline recall and the claims process the company initiated.

Through Wednesday, the Indiana attorney general’s office has received 110 complaints from consumers regarding the recall of fuel that contained a higher than normal volume of polymeric residue, according to Tom Bodin, chief economist of the Indiana attorney general's office.

Bodin, who responded to questions via email, said the majority of complaints are from people experiencing problems with their vehicles after buying the off-specification gasoline.

BP released a list of more than 500 stations Tuesday in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and one in Ohio that potentially sold the problem fuel. More than 4.7 million gallons of fuel, 3.4 million of which was shipped from Indiana, was identified as off-specification gasoline, BP spokesman Scott Dean said.

"We are looking very closely to ensure all consumers who may have been exposed to off-spec fuels are made whole and inconvenienced as little as possible," Bodin said.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced an investigation into the company's claim intake and remediation process relating to the recall on Aug. 22.

The management of the claims process is bothering Aletha Avington, of East Chicago. Avington reached the company's claims department last week after her 2011 Chevrolet Impala need repairs after being filled with the off-specification fuel.

While waiting for a return phone call, Avington said a man purporting to be from BP called her from a blocked number Friday and said she needed to provide her social security number and driver's license information in order to process a claim.

Diana Marovich, of Schererville, also said one of the temporary workers manning the claims hotline Monday asked for her Social Security number.

Dean of BP said Tuesday there is no need for people to give out their Social Security or driver's license numbers in order to process a claim. He said vehicle insurance and identification information are among the things required in processing a claim.

That fact provides no solace for Avington, who said she's worried about what will happen with personal information as the company continues to receive claims from people.

"They are unorganized," Avington said. "They don't know how and what to tell the customers calling in."

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