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Faulty Gas Pumps: A Call 11 For Action Investigation

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"This is ridiculous. This is ridiculous." That's what you can hear a viewer say on a video he sent in to Call 11 For Action.

After he filled his tank - the pump kept going, and going...slowly but surely charging him money.

This is a common complaint we hear from viewers - they feel ripped off by faulty gas pumps.

So we looked into the situation.

Matthew Rogacki is the director of weights & measures in Lucas County.

He's the man in charge of checking the county's 5,000 pumps on an annual basis. He showed us how he does his job.

Rogacki says, "We check for leaks, and make sure there's no liquid component. We also check the seals. We'll do 5 gallon at a fast pressure test, and then a 5 gallon at a lower pressure test.

His crew responded and ordered the pump fixed that caused our viewer's problem. But it turns out, even though many consumers might feel they get shortchanged at the pump - very few alert the county.

Rogacki says, "We average about 90 complaints a year. and out of those 90, there are 5 or 6 that are legitimate, I would say."

And believe it or not - the county actually wants more complaints. They need your help - calling the consumer helpline that's on every single pump (419) 213-4406, or filling out a form on-line if you think a particular pump is off.

County Auditor Anita Lopez says that's the best way they can catch a problem. She says, "Considering the fact we have 5,000 gas pumps in Lucas County that we have to inspect annually, we have to work in partnership with citizens. they are our consumer watchdogs."

Rogacki tells us the reality is more than half the time a pump is out of whack, the pump actually gives the consumer more, not less, for the money. And he adds, "if it's in the customer favor, then we let the store know but we keep the pump running. if it's against the consumer then we shut the pump down and we give them 14 days to get it corrected."

It's also extremely rare for any pump problem to be intentional, and most of the time, the pumps are off by a very small amount.

But if you see a problem like our viewer saw, or just have a feeling things don't add up, you can help yourself and other drivers by reporting it.

Twitter: @CraigThomasWTOL

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