July 19, 2007

Exxon gas pumps in California and Arizona will carry “hot fuel” decals

Santa Monica, California – ExxonMobil has announced it will put decals on its gasoline pumps in California and Arizona, acknowledging that “hot fuel” – gasoline dispensed in high ambient temperatures – may not deliver the full value of a gallon of gasoline. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) says that Exxon took the step “to protect itself from class-action lawsuits that accuse marketers of defrauding drivers with ‘hot fuel’.”

FTCR says Exxon, the world’s largest oil company, should have announced plans to fix the problem, “which would have gained its brand market share and consumer confidence.” Instead, FTCR says Exxon is “just fending off lawsuits and making drivers angrier.”

A gasoline pump nozzle widely used in Canada, and produced by U.S. manufacturer Gilbarco, measures the temperature of gasoline as it leaves the pump. The California Weights and Measures board has stated that the pump may be sold and used in California, but Gilbarco has declined to offer it for sale.

Judy Dugan, research director of Oil Watchdog and FTCR, says that the loss due to temperature is about 50 cents per thankful, with a collective loss to California motorists of an estimated US$450 million per year. According to a federal study, the statewide average year-round temperature of gasoline is over 74 degrees F (23 degrees C).

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