More than a third South Florida’s gas station pumps have failed the state’s accuracy test in the past three years. An analysis of state inspections reveals that slightly more than half of the broken pumps err in favor of the consumer. The state inspects all pumps every 12-18 months.
The Sun-Sentinel analyzed state inspection reports from 2004 to 2006. The analysis found 580 of more than 2,500 stations in South Florida had at least one pump dispensing more gas than customers paid to purchase, while 477 provided less fuel than they should.
“If you go to the grocery store and buy a gallon of milk, you expect a gallon of milk,” said Jason Toews, co-founder of Gasbuddy.com, a consumer advocacy site that tracks gas prices. “The same goes for gasoline.”
It’s unclear if Florida’s pump failure rate is higher or lower than in other states. In 2003, a national survey by the National Conference on Weights and Measures, found a 6 percent failure rate on gas dispensers tested in 2002. South Florida’s failure rate in recent years mirrors the nation.
Consumer vigilance can help uncover crooked station owners. One motorist complained to the state after a station charged him for 21 gallons of gas to fill up his 18 gallon tank.
34 percent of area gas stations fail pump tests in last three years [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)