DALLAS, TX — Calling it a “motor fuel measurement notice,” ExxonMobil affixed labels to numerous Mobil and Exxon stations in California altering customers that the energy content of a gallon of fuel varies with its temperature, a move that the consumer group Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) called acknowledgement of shortchanging consumers in a written statement.
In a statement, the FTCR said the stickers are a strategy to fend off “hot fuel” lawsuits.
“ExxonMobil, America’s most profitable corporation, owes drivers more than a cheap sticker in tiny print,” Judy Dugan, research director of FTCR and its OilWatchdog.org project, said in a written statement. “The company has funds that it uses to help dealers with infrastructure, and which could be used to buy
nozzles that adjust fuel volume for higher temperatures.”
In addition, newly introduced legislation in the Senate by Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, would require fuels to be adjusted for temperature, the organization stated.
“Consumers and lawmakers are increasingly aware that there is a thumb on the scale when they buy gasoline, even though they have no fairer alternative for purchasing it,” said Dugan. “The Senate’s hot fuel bill is a warning to oil companies, refiners and distributors of gasoline that they can either make gasoline sales honest themselves or be forced by the courts or government to do it.”
The year-round temperature of fuel at the pump in California averages 74.5 degrees. At around $3 a gallon, 75 degree fuel could cost consumers 50 cents or more per fillup, according to the FTCR.