New bill to regulate gas stations overcharging motorists

Gas stations that have inaccurate pumps and are overcharging their consumers are likely to face fines in the nearest future.

Industry Minister Tony Clement will be announcing a new “Fairness at the Pump Act” later this week.

The legislation will make retailers more accountable for the accuracy of the pumps at their stations and they’ll be liable whether or not the errors were intentional, a government source has mentioned.

No further details on what kinds of penalties will be brought in are not provided yet.

The issue of iffy gas pumps came to the fore in the summer of 2008, when a newspaper report looked into 200,000 inspections by Measurement Canada and found 3/4 of the devices were shorting drivers.

Some of the pumps studied erred in the retailer’s favour by 4.5% or even more.

The Tories first promised to introduce such a bill in the 2008 election. At that time, they suggested fines of up to $50,000, and mandated regular inspections of pumps.

Gas pumps are normally initially inspected at the time of their installation, and then undergo random occasional checks by inspectors. But the Tories have wanted to mandate inspections every 2 years.

The bill is not expected to deal with gas prices, a big beef for motorists.