exxonmobil warns customers of hot fuel

New decals placed on pumps not enough to quell FTCR anger.

ExxonMobil will put decals on its gasoline pumps in California and Arizona acknowledging that “hot fuel” may not deliver the full value of a gallon of gasoline, according to a report in the industry publication Oil Express, a division of the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS). But in the opinion of the Foundation for Taxpayer

and Consumer Rights (FTCR), the angered group leading the charge against hot fuel, the company took the step to protect itself from class-action lawsuits that accuse marketers of defrauding drivers.

“A cheap decal is like a tobacco pack warning,” said Judy Dugan, research director of Oil Watchdog.org and FTCR. “It may be Teflon against lawsuits, but it offers no protection to consumers. The cost of each decal may be less than the 50 cents a fill-up that consumers are paying for ghost gas.”

Exxon’s action follows a similar decal warning ordered by Tesoro at its California stations, including the small USA Petroleum chain and more than 250 Shell stations recently acquired by Tesoro. The FTCR said that at the time, other companies denied that they would follow suit.

In the Oil Express article, ExxonMobil said it would require the decal at its company-owned and franchised stations, and would “encourage” others that sell the Exxon brand to display the decal.

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