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Inspection records document local gas station violations

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Inspection records document local gas station violations

By Daniel Gutierrez. CREATED Nov 11, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- You pull up, choose the gas you want and pump. But are you getting what you pay for? The answer is no.

"Usually when I am getting gas, I'm in a huge hurry, so I don't really pay attention," said one local driver.

Most of us probably don't.

"If the pump says 20 gallons, you would imagine 20 gallons went into your tank. You would hope it did," said another driver.

But gas pumps might not always be accurate. Contact 13 obtained inspection records from the state for nearly 300 gas stations in Southern Nevada for the last year. 

The records show some drivers, maybe you, are being cheated out of the gas they're paying for. Inspectors found 152 different gas stations weren't giving drivers the right amount of fuel. The state's Division of Consumer Equitability said it's a common violation called "out of tolerance."

"Sometimes I think they really don't give you the right amount of gas," said a local driver.

In some cases drivers actually got too much, and in other cases too little. So just how much are we talking about? Each case is different, but the state said drivers are usually shorted a very small amount. We're talking half to maybe a full cup.

The reports show 351 pumps over the past year were found to be out of tolerance from October 2012 to October 2013. And if you think about all the times you fill up, that can add up.

In fact, three different 7-Eleven gas stations failed their annual inspections because all their pumps were shorting drivers. One on East Lake Mead in North Las Vegas, and two in Las Vegas, on East Owens and North Rainbow.

The stations were told to fix the issue, but we found two of the locations actually closed their gas stations. But the third location on North Rainbow and Washington is still open.

The 7-Eleven Corporation said the necessary repairs were made at all three locations, and the decision to close two locations was unrelated to the inspection results. They went on to say they recently launched a new program to better maintain all their gas stations.

Another offender was Jones Feed and Tack on Lone Mountain and North Rancho. The report shows 8 of 14 pumps weren't giving the right amount of gas during their inspection in May of this year.

"Since we took over, we changed a lot inside and outside," said owner David Singh.

The problem was fixed before David bought the place a couple months ago. The state's surprise inspections often help bring these types of issues to a gas station's attention. So are some station's intentionally trying to rip you off? Officials say no, these violations are usually due to wear and tear.

"Like you drive your car, you need a repair here and there you know. So this is the same," said David.

Plenty of drivers though, said when they let go of the pump, they want to make sure the pump lets go of their wallet.

"I always watch when it comes to 10 gallons, is that price right? I'll always stop at 10 gallons and I haven't found it wrong yet," said a valley driver.

But the state has. Records show 42 different pumps kept charging drivers, even after they stopped pumping. The amount varies, officials said usually by a few cents. On the flip side, a gas pump can also start charging you, before you've even started pumping the gas. An issue that popped up at 13 pumps in the Valley.

"I just don't have enough time to think about if I'm getting overcharged or shorted on the gas," said another driver.

But maybe, it's a good idea to pay a little more attention.

So here's the Contact 13 bottom line: Don't just pay and pump. Take time to look at your receipt and make sure you're getting the right amount of fuel.

And if you think a pump isn't working properly, make a complaint by calling 668-4555. The state says stations aren't fined for any violations, but they do lose money when gas pumps are taken out of service.

Don't forget, we've got your back Las Vegas. If you're having an issue with any sort of business, let us know, and we'll see what we can do to help. Email us at 13investigates@ktnv.com.

Statement from 7-Eleven:

Regarding 7-Eleven location still serving gas:
7-Eleven, 870 N. Rainbow Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89107
This gas station was "calibrated by an outside firm on October 2 and again on October 18 when we were notified of inspection results."

Regarding two 7-Eleven locations not serving gas:
7-Eleven, 2716 E. Lake Mead Blvd. North Las Vegas, NV 89030
7-Eleven, 3520 E. Owens Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89115
"7-Eleven did make repairs when we were notified of mis-calibration at these two locations. The removal of the gasoline tanks at the stores was unrelated to the calibration issue.  At 7-Eleven, we routinely evaluate our gasoline underground-storage tank systems and either replace or remove them depending on a number of criteria, including the age of equipment and sales performance at the specific location.  These were the issues we considered as part of our decision to remove the tanks and discontinue gasoline sales at these two locations."

Regarding prevention of mis-calibration:
"7-Eleven, Inc has an inspection program to routinely check for damage to dispensers so that we can address those issues promptly. Also, we recently instituted a national calibration program whereby all of our dispensers are routinely calibrated and the appropriate/proper adjustments are made."

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