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CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- New Jersey consumers wondering if they are getting the advertised fuel when filling up can take solace in the fact that the "Octane Task Force" is ensuring they are. Created by New Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs' Office of Weights and Measures, the task force recently visited 213 gas stations and conducted on-the-spot testing of octane levels in the gas being sold, reported WPVI-TV.
A total of 382 samples were taken by the unannounced visitors, and all but 22 of them passed. For the 22 that did not pass, fines and shutdowns of those gas stations are possible.
"We're looking for octane tampering," Robert Campanelli, of the Office of Weights and Measures, told the news outlet. "We're looking for adulterated octane. We're looking for water in the tanks, and we're checking to make sure a gallon is a gallon."
WPVI-TV tagged along as the Octane Task Force arrived at a Lukoil station on Kaigns Avenue in Cherry Hill. It passed the test.
"If [the consumer] is paying for it, [they] need to know exactly what [they are] getting," said Gary Mathoan, owner of the Lukoil gas station. "There's no doubt about it."
Adulterated octane will certainly hurt consumers in the wallet, especially in some states where fuel prices are high. However, a bigger concern is the effect it can have on vehicles. "If you are getting less octane in your engine than that which your car requires, you'll have a knocking and a pinging [noise]," John McGuire, an enforcement supervisor for the task force, explained.