Nearly 120 faulty gas pumps found in Toronto in 2018

By News Staff

Drivers are already at the mercy of mercurial oil markets. The last thing they need to encounter are faulty gas pumps with meters that keep climbing even when no one is actually triggering the nozzle.

Earlier this week CityNews viewer Rick Prete recorded such an incident (below) at a Husky gas station at Dixie and Steeles in Brampton.

“I don’t have my finger on the pump at all … and the numbers kept on rolling,” Prete said.

Unfortunately, he’s not alone.

According to Measurement Canada, which is responsible for checking pumps across the country, about three per cent of 3,907 gas pumps inspected at retailers across Toronto in 2018 were faulty.

That’s about 117 pumps, which is actually slightly better than the national average.

“In 2018, 81,068 gas pumps were inspected at retailers across Canada,” Measurement Canada told CityNews. “Of these, 96 per cent were found to be measuring accurately and four per cent were found to be measuring inaccurately.”

“An accurate measure, as defined by Measurement Canada, is any gas pump that dispenses 20 litres of gasoline plus or minus 0.5 per cent or 100 ml.”

The problem may be relatively rare, but it’s still costly.

The average GTA pump unloads 3,000 litres a day – so an error of just one per cent could end up charging customers an extra $30 a day in total per pump.

Over a couple weeks the number balloons into the hundreds.

Measurement Canada says retailers “have 14 days to repair gas pumps when the pumps are showing measurement errors of between 0.5 and 1.5 per cent or between 100 ml and 300 ml on a 20 litre test quantity.”

Any pump with errors greater than that are immediately taken out of service.

But pumps are only inspected once every two years, and at least one expert believes that’s not enough to assure consumers aren’t getting hosed.

Petroleum analyst Dan McTeague is calling for more frequent inspections.

“In high volume areas like the GTA, inspections should be moved up from every two years, to perhaps every year,” he advised.

That would be fine with Prete.

“What happened to me, who knows how many people it happened before me, or even after me,” he said.

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