National Consumer Protection Week Announcement # 5:
NJ Division of Consumer Affairs, Office of Weights and Measures, Cites Newark and Jersey City Gas Stations
for Alleged Violations
NEWARK— A Newark gas station that shortchanged motorists buying premium-grade fuel was among the stations cited for alleged violations of the state's Weights and Measures regulations during unannounced inspections conducted yesterday and today.
One pump at the Delta gas station registered that nearly 5.2 gallons of fuel had been dispensed when Weights and Measures officers filled a certified five-gallon container during a measurement test. A motorist paying for 26 gallons of premium gas from that pump would have actually received 25 gallons, and spent $3.59 for the non-existent gallon of premium-grade fuel.
"We can't control the price of gasoline, but we can – and we are – making sure gas pumps are accurate and that the prices displayed on signs are the actual prices set on the pumps," said Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. "With the recent spike in gas prices, we want to ensure that motorists are getting every drop of fuel that they are paying for."
Office of Weights and Measures investigators condemned the faulty pump, meaning it cannot be used until it is serviced and then re-inspected. A second pump at the Delta Station, located at 615 Route 21 (McCarter Highway) in Newark, was condemned because of an electrical problem. Two citations will be issued, for failure to maintain equipment and equipment out of tolerance.
Inspectors found no violations at an Exxon station on Route 21 in Newark that also was checked on Monday.
State Weights and Measures investigators today conducted an unannounced inspection at a Citgo station on Tonnelle Avenue in Jersey City. They tested 34 dispensers, and found one diesel pump that provided slightly less fuel than was charged for – a shortage of 14 cubic inches, or approximately two cups, per five gallons of fuel. One citation will be issued.
Gas pumps in New Jersey are required to be inspected annually. County Weights and Measures personnel perform the majority of these inspections, with some towns also conducting inspections in addition to the State Office of Weights and Measures.
Motorists can look for a Weights and Measures seal on a fuel pump, and check for the month and year noted on it, as a visible indicator that the pump has been inspected.
Consumers can report suspected problems related to purchasing gasoline to the State Office of Weights and Measures by filling out a complaint form located at www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/complaint/ocp.pdf or by calling the Office at 732-815-4840. Each county also has a Weights and Measures Office that may be contacted.
NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK (NCPW) is a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions. NCPW 2011 takes place March 6 through 12, 2011.
More information designed to help consumers protect themselves is offered free of charge at the State Division of Consumer Affairs NCPW website at www.njconsumeraffairs.gov . Information is also available at the official National Consumer Awareness Week website, www.NCPW.gov .
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website, www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov, or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.