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AUSTIN -- The Texas Agriculture Department (TAD) posted a laundry list of gas stations with inaccurate fuel pumps, showing more than 100 pumps that are not giving drivers all they paid for, The Associated Press reported.
With gas prices around $3 a gallon in the state, 74 pumps shorted consumers by at least six tablespoons per five gallons, while 31 pumps shorted customers by 12 tablespoons per five gallons, according to a report that covered the previous 60 days, the AP reported. TAD allows a variation of about 6 tablespoons per five gallons of gas.
In addition, stations that are found to have shorted customers more than 12 tablespoons per five gallons are now fined $100 per pump for the first offense and $200 per pump for the second offense. Further, a pump that is more than four times the allowed variance can be fined $500 for a second offense, the report stated. In May, TAD's minimum fines quadrupled, the first time since 1996, according to the AP.
Inaccurate pumps are tagged and closed until the retailer recalibrates and recertified the pump.
"There are some out there that really give you more gas," TAD spokeswoman Beverly Boyd told the AP. "But we consider those out of tolerance, too." However, the TAD Web site does not list the stations cited for overages.
The TAD has 72 inspectors who monitor 275,000 fuel pumps at 14,000 gas stations, the AP reported. State law requires pumps to be inspected at least once every four years, but the department must respond to consumer complaints within 10 days.
While Texas gas retailers usually have a 96 percent compliance rate, since May 25, when new fines went into effect, compliance dropped to 92 percent, Boyd said.
To see the pumps that were listed on the TAD Web site, click the link below: