With the summer driving season getting underway, Department of Consumer
Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Jonathan Mintz today announced a 98 percent
compliance rate for the City’s gas pumps. Under the City’s Weights and Measures
law, DCA tests all gas pumps for accuracy to ensure that New York City consumers
are getting every drop of gas that they pay for. In the past year, DCA has
performed more than 1,800 gas station inspections, checking more than 12,000
individual gas pumps throughout the five boroughs. During its inspections of the
City’s gas stations over the past year, the Department condemned 227 gas pumps
for inaccurately dispensing fuel. On average, DCA’s gas squad inspects each gas
station in the City approximately twice a year.
“The cost of gasoline may be out of our control, but making sure that New
Yorkers get what they pay for isn’t,” said Consumer Affairs Commissioner
Jonathan Mintz. “Consumer Affairs inspectors are out there every day making sure
that gas pumps are working properly, and with such high compliance rates, gas
station owners have clearly gotten the message.”
DCA inspectors check gas pumps for dispensing accuracy, ensuring that
consumers get all the fuel they pay for at the pump. The Department checks gas
octane levels and water content to ensure gas is up to standard. Inspectors also
check fill ports to ensure they are properly marked, in addition to checking
that proper signage is posted, including that the unit price on the pump matches
the price posted in the station’s main signage.
Any gas pump that fails to dispense accurately is immediately condemned by
DCA inspectors and must be fixed before it can be put back into service.
Additionally, pumps that fail inspection are routed for follow up inspections.
DCA also performs inspections based upon consumer complaints. New York City
consumers can call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/consumers to file a
complaint. In FY09, the Department received 1,329 complaints, compared to 948
the previous year. The most common consumer complaints concern is
DCA enforces the Consumer Protection Law and other related business laws
throughout New York City. Ensuring a fair and vibrant marketplace for consumers
and businesses, DCA licenses more than 70,000 businesses in 55 different
industries. Through targeted outreach, partnerships with community and trade
organizations, and informational materials, DCA educates consumers and
businesses alike about their rights and responsibilities. DCA’s Office of
Financial Empowerment is the first municipal office of its kind in the nation
with a mission to educate, empower and protect New Yorkers with low incomes, to
help them make the best use of their financial resources to move forward
economically. For more information, call 311 or visit DCA online at www.nyc.gov/consumers.