Ever wondered whether the hi-test gas you were putting in your high-performance car was really hi-test? A gas station owner in Davenport, Iowa thought no one would notice if he put regular in all three pumps. He was wrong.
Station owner Ranbir Thakur must pay a $20,000 civil penalty to the State of Iowa as a result of a lawsuit alleging Thakur's Citgo gas station business placed lower-grade regular gas in tanks supplying pumps that sold mid-grade and super-premium gasoline.
The consumer fraud lawsuit filed by Attorney General Tom Miller's Office was based on an investigation by the Weights & Measures Bureau of the Iowa Dept. of Agriculture & Land Stewardship. The investigation determined that several gasoline tanker-truck drivers had been asked by Thakur to put 89-octane gas in tanks meant to hold 91- and 93-octane gasoline at the Citgo #578 gas station in Davenport.
Thakur and his business, Diwan, LLC, admitted the violation in a consent judgment and order entered recently by District Court Judge Gary D. McKenrick. Under terms of the order. In addition to the $20,000 fine, the station faces more frequent inspections by the Weights & Measures Bureau and will lose its license to sell gasoline in Iowa if there are similar violations in the future.
"This sends a clear message that gas retailers will be penalized sharply if they violate the law. Our Department's Weights & Measures Bureau inspects and licenses all commercial weighing and measuring devices, including gas pumps, and gas pump inspections are conducted unannounced annually throughout the year in order to protect consumers," said Agriculture Secretary Patty.