WHAT TO KNOW
- Investigators believe a bad fuel shipment, containing diesel, is to blame
- West Palm has to replace engines for 49 cars, costing $340,000
- Miami-Dade had 217 cars impacted, 67 will need new engines, costing $450,000
West Palm Beach and Miami-Dade are investigating why several of their police cars suddenly reported engine failure. West Palm Beach City Administrator Jeff Green said the police department reported 49 cars will need new engines.
In Miami-Dade, 217 cars had to be pulled off the roads for repair work; 67 of those have engine failure.
“I’ve talked to our fleet guys and they’ve been around for some time and it’s the first time they heard of anything like this,” said Jose Galan with Miami-Dade.
Mechanics discovered black spark plugs, and air filters soaked in oil.
“We sent the fuel to the lab and it came back that it contained diesel,” Galan said.
Miami-Dade contacted their fuel broker, Indigo, immediately, who flushed out their pumping stations.
“The fuel broker replaced approximately 20,000 gallons of fuel,” Galan said.
That’s when Miami-Dade officials heard of problems in West Palm Beach.
Replacing the engines on those 49 cars will cost the city around $340,000. Miami-Dade is looking at spending around $450,000.
Both agencies use different fuel brokers. West Palm is using Mansfield.
“It’s interesting that it happened to both of us at approximately the same time,” Galan said.
Investigators are trying to understand where the bad fuel shipment came from and who is going to foot the bill.
For now, taxpayers are on the hook.
Miami-Dade is currently working with the insurance company for the fuel broker.
WPTV reached out to both fuel brokers. Indigo said they’re investigating and have no comment at the moment. Mansfield did not immediately return our calls.