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Jesse’s Story of the Day

Jesse Jones exposes gas pump problems

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When you start pumping gas, are you really getting what you pay for?  One local driver Jesse Jones talked to said the gas he paid for never made it into his car, even though the meter was running.  And that driver isn’t alone.

Two drivers in different areas discovered runaway gas pumps in western Washington.    Taxi driver Dan Tuffey first discovered the issue at an Arco gas station in Everett.

“I filled up and I was busy washing my windows and the meter clicked off,” Tuffey explained.   “But I didn’t get to it right away…the nozzle.  I sat across looking at it and it was still climbing.  I said ‘what?’”

It rang up about 21 cents extra.  Tuffey took video of the moving meter and showed the clerk.

“He said he’d take care of it and charged me the extra 21 cents,” Tuffey said.

But the problem wasn’t taken care of.  Just a few days after posting his video on Facebook, I went and checked it out.  The meter was running during our interview, and was still an issue.

Nancy Lamb said she went to fill up her 16 gallon tank at Gateway Gas and Deli in Snoqualmie, and experienced a similar issue.

“I pulled the nozzle out and it was straight in the air,” Lamb explained.  “One drip of gas came out and the dial kept going another two or three gallons.”

Lamb filed a complaint with the state’s Weights and Measures Program. An inspector checked the pump and filed a notice of correction.

The inspector told KIRO 7 “I have however, seen and rejected a dispenser for meter advancement and meter jump but nothing this extreme.”

“It makes me concerned for all of us who live here in this small town,” Lamb said.

Weights and Measures said Gateway Gas and Deli did everything right.   The owners immediately shut down the pump.  The rest of the station’s pumps checked out perfectly.

Dan Tuffey said he just wanted the pump at the Everett gas station fixed.

“Just put the pump out of order,” Tuffey said.  “That’s all I would have needed and I would have been happy.”

During our interview, a clerk came out and did just that.

“Now that I see this, I’ll put an out of order sign and have the technicians come out and look,” the clerk to KIRO 7.

To be clear, KIRO 7 does not think these stations are trying to rip people off.  The Everett gas station fixed its pump later that night.  The owner said the issue was caused by a faulty valve.

In its last state inspection, the station had two problem pumps: one had meter jump, and the other undercharged.

If you see something like this, speak to the manager and call or email Weights and Measures here.

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