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With the Memorial Day driving rush approaching, the New York City Consumer Affairs Department went undercover to look for gas stations trying to shortchange drivers.
The department padlocked six pumps at a Bronx station after gas samples taken by department investigators showed octane levels below what the station advertised and below the legal margin of error.
The station now faces fines of $10,000 per pump. Five other gas stations were also found to have violations over the past week, officials said. The department also says gas prices in the city have shot up 11 percent in the last month, to an average of $1.86 per gallon.
Meanwhile, consumers aren't just complaining about high gas prices; they're changing their travel plans or canceling trips to avoid the high cost. An Associated Press poll shows 3 in 10 Americans have cancelled or cut back trips, or changed to another mode of transportation because of the price of fuel. And although the number of people taking vacations has risen over the last two years, the number travelling by car has fallen. This counters a report by the American Automobile Association saying that the number of motorists planning the long-weekend vacations remains steady.