Second Major Victory in Hot Fuels Litigation

Marking a second major victory for fuel retailers in the so-called “hot fuels” litigation, the presiding federal judge in Kansas threw out three cases against Chevron Corp., ruling that California law allows Chevron to sell fuel without making adjustments for temperature, or disclosing its effect.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil granted Chevron summary judgment on class-action claims that consumers overpaid for fuel that expanded because of temperature. The cases Vratil dismissed Friday were filed in California but were consolidated in Kansas federal court for pretrial proceedings.

Many large gasoline retailers and major oil companies have been sued in a class action lawsuit claiming that gas stations overcharge for fuel because pumps lack automatic temperature compensation (ATC) devices.  

NATSO has argued for some time that these cases are unjustified and without merit. There is no law requiring the installation of ATC devices, nor is there any law that retailers disclose the temperature or energy content of fuel.

For two years, NATSO was involved in a debate over whether retailers should be required to install ATC. NATSO won that debate in July 2009, when the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) rejected measures to require or allow ATC for retail fuel dispensers. At the time, the NCWM cited consensus against ATC as well as economic cost factors, lack of consumer benefit and absence of uniformity in the marketplace as reasons for its decision.  

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman's photo

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman develops and executes communications strategies to advance NATSO’s public relations and advocacy goals. Tiffany also develops and oversees partnerships related to the NATSO Foundation’s public outreach initiatives. Tiffany lives in the D.C. metro area with her husband and their two sons.More
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