Inspecting pumps, signs at gas stations

July 1, 2009 3:59:12 PM PDT
Pulling into a gas station and filling up the tank is a bit of a leap of faith. You are trusting that the station owner and government regulators are ensuring that you get what you pay for. So how do you know if the pumps are accurate?

It turns out that complaints against gas stations in New York City are up 40 percent in the past year.

So let the inspections begin. The yearly checks of the city's gas pumps help make sure you don't get ripped off.

In the last year, 12,000 pumps have been inspected at 1,800 gas stations. Authorities say 227 pumps were shut down. They say 98 percent were in compliance.

Jose Cardona, buying $5 of gas for his lawn mower, is a skeptical consumer.

"Five dollars doesn't go as far as it used to," Commissioner of Consumer Affairs Jonathan Mintz said. "Ten dollars doesn't go as far as it used to, and sometimes people wonder is that because there's a problem at the pump?"

One station had a problem with its pumps.

"It appeared they had changed the rollover function on the pump to make the numbers change, roll over a little quicker," said John Browne, assistant director of Petroleum Products.

The owners are give five days to fix the problem. If they don't, they could faces up to $10,000 in fines.



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Links to Information and Resources:

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    Westchester Department of Consumer Protection:

  • Survey of Gasoline Prices

    Government Accountability Office:

  • Guide to Understanding Retail Gas Prices (PDF)