SAN FRANCISCO, July 11 -- Chevron Corp. announced Monday it was sending out letters to more than 1,200 private airplane owners in Northern California with details on how to file claims for damages caused by contaminated fuel. The company revealed over the Labor Day weekend that general aviation fuel that had been accidentally contaminated with jet fuel had been shipped to six Northern California airports.
'As the leading supplier of aviation fuel in the nation, we pride ourselves most on two things -- the quality, integrity and safety of our products and the positive relationships we have with our many thousands of customers,' said Peter Kump, general manager of aviation sales for Chevron. 'As we've said over the last several weeks, we deeply regret that we had a problem with our aviation fuel.' The contaminated fuel was caused by a leaky valve at Chevron's Richmond, Calif., refinery during a two-hour period May 16. The valve allowed jet fuel to mix with aviation gasoline. One truckload of the contaminated fuel was delivered to two airports in Sacramento. Six more trucks went out the next day with fuel that was much less contaminated to Watsonville, Concord, Oakland and Petaluma. When it learned of the problem, Chevron immediately undertook a methodical process to work with the FAA, engine manufacturers and with aircraft owners to ensure that all planes that may have fueled with the contaminated mixture were defueled, inspected and repaired if needed. As a result of what's been learned over the last few weeks about engine damage and customer inconvenience, the company said it has decided to forego further in-depth testing and inspection and simply pay to repair or replace engines that were involved. Kump said claims will be handled the same for all six airports.