The Texas Attorney General has taken aim at a little pill described as a "top secret" gasoline additive that will boost mileage and cut polluting emissions.
Attorney General Greg Abbott charges that while the chemical composition of the gasoline pill may well be top secret the pill is also a scam. Abbott says the pill is nothing more than the equivalent of a mothball.
With the price of gasoline reaching $3 a gallon, scammers are polluting the market place with gimmicks and products designed to take advantage of consumers beaten down by the high prices.
With drivers searching for alternatives to high-priced gasoline, a cottage industry is sprouting up claiming increased mileage with pills, powders, liquid additives and mechanical devices.
The little green BioPerformance pill is suppose to improve mileage by 30 percent when simply dropped into a gas tank. Abbot says the claim is nonsense and has filed a suit to shut down BioPerfomrance in Texas. Abbott recruited a University of Texas scientist to test the product and it turns out the pill is made of naphthalene.
Mothballs are also made from naphthalene.
The little pills are not the only scam on the market. Among the mileage rip offs are a set of magnets that can be attached to the fuel line so they can realign the gasoline molecules and create "vortex generators" forming small tornadoes inside the engine.
All the magnets really generate are profits for the people selling them.
The small green BioPerformance pills are advertised as completely harmless and non-toxic according to company claims. Naphthalene, however, can be quite toxic and is harmful if swallowed or ingested.
BioPerformance claims to have 4,500 sales people in Texas with $25 million in revenue since December 2005. But the company turns out to be more like a pyramid scheme. Dealers must come up with $300 to $500 to pay for start up costs.