Anne Milgram, Attorney General
 
Division of Consumer Affairs
David Szuchman, Director
 
For Immediate Release:
June 19, 2008
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
Consumer Information:
973-504-6200

 

CORRECTION: A list of gasoline retail stations which was distributed by the Division of Consumer Affairs detailing alleged violations of the state’s motor fuels act incorrectly included Academy Exxon in Livingston, NJ. The station was mistakenly listed as being in violation.

Statewide Task Force Finds Violations at Gas Stations

NEWARK – Weights and Measures inspectors checking gas stations in all 21 New Jersey counties have found more than 300 alleged violations, including pricing discrepancies, inaccurate octane ratings, and inaccurate or out-of-tolerance equipment, Attorney General Anne Milgram and Consumer Affairs Director David Szuchman announced.

More than 1,000 gas stations were inspected at the end of May through a coordinated effort involving county and state Weights and Measures personnel.

“Consumers deserve to get what they pay for, especially when they are paying record-setting prices for gasoline,” Attorney General Anne Milgram said. “We cannot control the price of gasoline but we can, and we are, upholding our laws and regulations regarding the sale of motor fuels.”

The 350 violations found at the 1,023 stations inspected include the following:

• Meters out of tolerance (more than 6 cubic inches)    62 violations
• Station registration not available    47 violations
• Per-gallon prices different on each side of the pump    46 violations
• Fuel grade not posted (octane rating label)    37 violations
• Price-per-gallon on dispenser non-compliant    36 violations
• Service station fuel brand not posted    30 violations
• Inaccurate octane rating    26 violations
• Inaccurate total sale price calculation    19 violations
• Per-gallon prices not posted on pump    15 violations
• Multiple price changes in a 24-hour period    14 violations
• Documents not available    14 violations
• 5-gallon test measure requirements (no device)      2 violations
• Credit card receipts missing information      2 violations

The counties will process these violations, and local Weights and Measures officials joined with Attorney General Milgram at today’s press conference at Essex Green Sunoco in West Orange. The gas station, which has a history of being in compliance with state laws and regulations, was undergoing its annual inspection.

“Let the word go out loud and clear – we have no tolerance for any gas station operator who tries to scam motorists who are already struggling with record gas prices,” Consumer Affairs Director Szuchman said.

The division, state Weights and Measures inspectors, and their county partners, also plan to continue to inspect stations during the peak summer driving season.

Dealers who violate per-gallon pricing violations face a civil penalty of up to $1,500 for the first offense and up to $3,000 for any subsequent offense. A violation of the Consumer Fraud Act carries an initial violation of up to $10,000 and up to $20,000 for any subsequent violation.

Consumers may contact their local Weights and Measures Offices or the State Office at the following numbers:

N.J. State Office, (732) 815-4840
Atlantic County, (609) 345-6700
Bergen County (201) 336-6424
Burlington County, (609) 265-5098
Camden County, (856) 374-6001
Cape May County, (609) 463-6475
Cumberland County, (856) 453-2203
Essex County, (973) 395-8363
Gloucester County, (856) 384-6855
Hudson County, (201) 319-3820
Hunterdon County, (908) 788-1249
Mercer County, (609) 989-6579
Middlesex County, (732) 745-3872
Monmouth County, (732) 431-7362
Morris County, (973) 285-2955
Ocean County, (732) 929-2166
Passaic County, (973) 305-5750
Salem County, (856) 935-7510
Somerset County, (908) 231-7125
Sussex County, (973) 948-5464
Union County, (908) 654-9845
Warren County, (908) 453-2828

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