Gas Pump Accuracy in Sacramento County

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Consumers are feeling the pinch at the pump as they fill up their gas tanks for the fourth of July holiday weekend. But, officials are downplaying an increase in consumer complaints over alleged price gouging. As gas prices continue to rise…people are watching the accuracy of gas pumps a little closer than usual. David Lazier is a weights and measures inspector with Sacramento County. In recent months, his office has handled nearly double the complaints from people who believe they’ve been cheated at the pump. But…Lazier says…customers are often mistaken about the size of their gas tank… “A lot of times the owners manual will say that the tank will hold 18 gallons for instance. But that doesn’t include the filler neck…that doesn’t include any dent in the gas tank that may take up space or anything like that…” In Fact, Lazier says when pumps are inaccurate…they tend to provide more gas than bought. He says on average, an older gas pump “wears down” and gives about a quarter cup of free gas for every five gallons purchased.