For Immediate Release - May 10, 2004

Division of Standards Surveys 71 Gas Stations to Ensure Consumers Are Not Being Cheated At the Pump

Only 3 Percent of Samples Surveyed Were Below the Octane Level Specified at the Pump

In an effort to ensure consumers are truly receiving what they pay for at the gas pump, the Division of Standards (DOS) today released the results of an April motor fuel octane survey. After checking 214 octane values of various grades of motor fuel at 71 retail outlets around the state, the DOS found only 7 of the 214 samples taken to be slightly below the octane number posted on the motor fuel dispenser.

"Unfortunately, as we head into the busy summer driving season gas prices are at an all time high," said Beth Lindstrom, Director of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. "If motorists are going to be paying more than two dollars a gallon for high octane gas, we wanted to be sure they are receiving what they've paid for in terms of octane levels. The results of this survey are very encouraging from a consumer standpoint and should provide motorists with some piece of mind."

The Division spot checks Massachusetts fueling stations throughout the year and utilizes infrared technology in determining octane values of the samples taken directly from the dispenser. The new technology is capable of determining octane values within two minutes. All the samples that were found to be below the posted octane level in this recent survey were premium grades of 93 octane. No violations were found on the regular (87 octane) and mid grade (89 octane) fuels.

Violations were found at the following fueling stations:

Name

Address

Town

Brand of Gas

WTA Enterprises

593 Washington Street

Braintree, MA

Gulf

NG Inc.

135 Kelly Blvd

North Attleboro, MA

A Plus Gas

Yomna Petroleum A Plus

584 Washington Street

Attleboro, MA

Valero

Valero Gas

120 South Washington Street

North Attleboro, MA

Valero

7 Eleven

460 Turnpike Street

Easton, MA

Citgo

Taunton Service Center

48 Broadway

Taunton, MA

Global

Ganasark

315 Broadway

Taunton, MA

A Plus Gas

"As prices continue to rise, the temptation to substitute lower octane fuel for the higher priced high-octane fuel also increases for unscrupulous dealers," said Charles Carroll, at the DOS. "The Division will increase the motor fuel inspections throughout the summer and fall, which is the peak of motor fuel consumption."

The Division offers the following consumer tips to conserve motor fuel and overall driving expenses:

  1. Don't "over buy" octane. Check your owner's manual for the correct octane as recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. If your vehicle knocks on the lower octane fuel go to the next higher grade.
  3. Keep your tires at the manufacturers recommended pressure.
  4. Keep your vehicle well maintained and the engine tuned.
  5. Don't exceed the legal speed limits. Excessive speed is not only a finable violation it also increases fuel consumption.