A look at how Michigan officials examine gas pumps for potential issues

Michigan officials examine gas pumps for potential issues
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 5:48 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 16, 2022 at 5:51 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - If you’ve filled up your car or truck recently, you know the price is still in record-high territory. It’s costing about $5.14 for a gallon of regular gasoline in Mid-Michigan, a decrease from a week ago and less than the state average.

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State officials are working to make sure people who are filling up their vehicles aren’t getting shorted. Inspectors invited News 10 to a demonstration to show how they’re keeping the gas pumps honest.

When monitoring the pumps, gas inspectors are looking for quality and quantity. State inspectors held a demonstration Thursday to show just how thoroughly they monitor everything from the pump to the quality of fuel.

The head of the Michigan Department of Agriculture said it’s a good way to reassure drivers they are getting exactly what they pay for, something Michael Obel appreciates.

“I want to make sure I’m getting all I can when it’s $5.09 a gallon,” Obel said.

Related: Michigan officials: Gas station owners not at fault for high prices

Unfortunately, the high gas prices are expected to stick around for a while, but state and municipal officials will be monitoring the pumps to make sure drivers are getting very drop they pay for.

Inspectors will take the nozzle from the pump and fill up a five-gallon test measure, which helps them indicate the gas-to-money ratio.

“When they buy gasoline at a gas station, they’re getting exactly what they pay for so everyone understands it’s a level playing field,” said Mark Griffin. “It’s a fair marketplace, and people get the value that their spending when they buy motor fuel at a gas station.”

Griffin is the president of the Michigan Petroleum Association. He said it’s not just about the amount of gas, but the quality as well.

“When we deliver it to a retail station, we test that fuel usually at that time as well. Then, the state comes in and tests it on a regular basis,” Griffin said. “There’s a variety of protocols in place throughout the distribution chain to make sure the customer is getting precisely what they’re paying for.”

“We have a great compliance here in Michigan -- over 95%,” said Gary McDowell, Michigan Department of Agriculture director.

He said Michiganders can rest easy knowing they aren’t getting ripped off. In fact, there’s a chance they’re getting more than what they paid for.

“A lot of the time it’s because the consumer got more gas than they were paying for,” McDowell said. “So it should give the consumers confidence.”

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