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Chevron to Face Class Action Suit for "Hot Gas"

A California appeals court overturns a trial court decision, ruling that Chevron must face a class action lawsuit for selling gasoline at a higher temperature than it purchased it.
February 2, 2012

LOS ANGELES - A state appeals court ruled that Chevron must face a class action for unfair business practices from customers who maintain it sells "hot gas," thereby short-changing customers, Courthouse News Service reports.

In the lawsuit, lead plaintiff Allen Ray Klein accused Chevron of purchasing wholesale gasoline at 60 degrees Fahrenheit and then selling it to California consumer sat 70 degrees. Due to the higher selling temperature, the suit alleges Chevron sells lass gasoline with less energy per gallon.

The suit also claims consumers are unable to make an accurate price comparison between retailers because of the temperature discrepancy.

In response, Chevron claimed its practice was allowed by California law and asked the court to dismiss the claim in light of a California Energy Commission report that "Automatic Temperature Compensation" fuel-pump technology would not lead to an economic benefit for consumers.

The trial court sided with Chevron, ruling California��s Legislature had dealt with the problem. However, under appeal, the state��s Second Appellate District disagreed, thus allowing a case to proceed.

"The Legislature has not provided any alternative means of addressing the issues in plaintiffs' claims, nor has it provided any certainty that it will address those issues in the future," Justice Laurie Zelon wrote for the court.