Gas Buyers, Ever Wonder Who Checks the Pumps For Accuracy? (Who Checks the High Price, You Ask? Fuggedaboudit!)

Under New York City’s Weights and Measures law, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) tests all gas pumps for accuracy. In the past year, DCA has performed more than 1,800 gas station inspections, checking more than 12,000 individual gas pumps throughout the five boroughs. The Department condemned 227 gas pumps for inaccurately dispensing fuel over the past year.

On average, DCA’s gas squad inspects each gas station in the City approximately twice a year. In a press release dated July 1, 2009, the DCA announced a 98 percent compliance rate for the City’s gas pumps, which the Department considers to be very good.

According to the press release, DCA inspectors check
(1) gas pumps for dispensing accuracy,
(2) gas octane levels and water content to ensure gas is up to standard,
(3) fill ports to ensure they are properly marked, and
(4) that proper signage is posted, including that the unit price on the pump matches the price posted in the stations main signage.

Any gas pump that fails to dispense accurately is immediately condemned by DCA inspectors and must be fixed before it can be put back into service. Additionally, pumps that fail inspection are routed for follow up inspections. DCA also performs inspections based upon consumer complaints. New York City consumers can call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/consumers to file a complaint.

In fiscal year 2009, the Department received 1,329 complaints, compared to 948 the previous year. The most common consumer complaints concern is overcharge. DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment is the first municipal office of its kind in the nation with a mission to educate, empower and protect New Yorkers with low incomes, to help them make the best use of their financial resources to move forward economically. For more information, call 311 or visit DCA online at www.nyc.gov/consumers.

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