Dozens of Drivers Stuck With Tar on Cars After VDOT Mishap

The Virginia Department of Transportation is getting an earful from dozens of drivers in Prince William County, Virginia, whose vehicles are covered with a tar-like material after driving through a stretch of road.

Matt Goldman was one of many drivers who took Minnieville Road in Woodbridge during his Tuesday morning commute. As rain came down, it appeared as though a dark substance was splashing up.

"It looked like it was black road spray coming up and that's when I started to try to move away from other people," Goldman said.

His normally sparkling white pickup truck was covered in grime.

"I thought it was dirt until I got to the car wash yesterday. I mean, I had no idea it was's not pretty," Goldman said.

A woman at a car wash told Goldman she'd seen plenty of others and the tar wasn't coming off. Goldman called VDOT. So have 100 other drivers.

"I did call VDOT and filed a claim. They said on their website they get back to you in, like, 72 hours," Goldman said.


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A spokeswoman for VDOT told News4 the overnight paving contractor had just put down a sealant that contains liquid asphalt. But it didn't cure in time before the rain came.

VDOT said it will take care of having the affected vehicles cleaned.

News4 spoke with an expert to find out how to deal with smaller cases where bits of tar get kicked up on our cars. He recommends wax and grease remover.

"What this does is it melts the tar off the car....and it beats scraping or buffing or any of those things," said Rick Jones with Total Auto Parts.

But Goldman is still concerned about how his truck will look after it's cleaned.

"I'm worried about that film there...if they do use some type of cleaner, is the white ever going to be as white as it was before?"

If the material got on your vehicle, VDOT said you should call 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or visit

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