Oil companies settle “hot fuel” class-action lawsuits

| April 10, 2012

BP Products North America Inc., ConocoPhillips Co. and Shell Oil Products US reportedly have agreed to settle lawsuits accusing them of cashing in on “hot fuel” – diesel and gasoline sold without adjusting the volume for temperature. Gasoline and diesel expand in warmer months, so a gallon of fuel in the summer contains less energy than what customers pay for at the pump.

The Kansas City Star reported in 2006 that hot fuel likely would cost consumers $2.3 billion that year, a price tag that is now about $3.5 billion at today’s diesel and gasoline prices. After the Star published a series of stories on hot fuel, class-action lawsuits accused dozens of companies ranging from giant oil companies to convenience store chains of adhering to the practice.

The first of the lawsuits is set to go to trial next month in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., but now reportedly without participation from BP, ConocoPhillips and Shell. Details of the settlement – which would apply to all the class-action lawsuits filed in various states – haven’t been announced since those still have to be approved by Judge Kathryn H. Vratil before taking effect, the Star reported.

The lawsuits seek solutions such as retrofitting pumps so that they automatically would adjust volume of a gallon of fuel depending on the temperature, which has been done for years in Canada. But a settlement that would require the three companies to make that specific improvement to fuel pumps nationwide may be unworkable since they have sold off most of their retail stations, even though those stations still sell their brands.

  • lester Maloon

    More BS from the goverment they will let these thiefs skate free while we have been ripped off for years and these scumbags knew it all the time what they were doing… Shame on them for letting them off the hook. They shouldbe paying back to our industry the billions they have screwed us out of.

  • Mr Jim Cahill

    If we didn’t get ripped off by our own people-
    American business’s-this wouldn’t be our
    country. It starts with our elected officials
    and filters right down to our ” daily log”..!!!!
    It’s modern day ” 3 card monte’ ” you’ll always
    pay and never really win. You gotta love it .
    Be safe and always have fun! Mr Jim

  • Gordon A

    These oil companies will settle for tens of millions of dollars in penalty’s. Who gets the money? The states or the government or the ones who had to pay the fraudulent price out of their pocket?
    It should be given to the buyers of the fuel. OH wait. We the truckers can prove truckers bought it but most car drivers cannot, so it ,in the eyes of the government and liberals unfair to refund to those that can prove the purchase. Future savings will never make up for the hot fuel rip off to this point.
    At least some action has been taken.

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