Watch CBS News

Call Kurtis Investigates Whether You're Getting What You Paid For At The Pump

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — With three kids, each trip to the gas station is getting more stressful for Elk Grove mom Ammanda Mendez. Her $60-a-week gas budget doesn't even fill up her tank.

"It's ridiculous. What is it now, $6.29?" she said. "That's why I have to be really careful about where I'm driving my kids."

She's not alone. As gas prices continue to ratchet up, many of us are finding ourselves impacted by the rising costs. So the Call Kurtis team wanted to know, are people getting every last drop of gas they pay for?

CBS13 pulled gas pump inspection reports across 16 counties in Northern California, spanning Solano County to the Nevada state line, from Plumas County all the way down to Stanislaus. All told, a little more than 20,000 different gas pumps were inspected over the course of a year.

"It's important as gas is so high, that we make sure that the customer is getting what they paid for," said Matthew Carl, a deputy agricultural commissioner with Solano County.

He says that inspectors pump exactly five gallons of gas and if the amount is off by just 3.5 ounces, roughly the amount of a baby food jar, the pump is considered "Out of Tolerance."

CBS13 learned that across 16 counties, 96 percent of all of the pumps inspected within the past year dispensed an accurate amount of gas. With roughly four percent Out of Tolerance.

"We verify that the transaction is fair and the device is accurate," said Carl. "And that neither party is getting the short end of the stick."

But CBS13 found that in that four percent of the time that pumps were Out of Tolerance, the majority were in the customers' favor.

In fact, in Sacramento County, out of 106 pumps found to be Out of Tolerance in 2021, 82 percent actually dispensed more gas.

Granted, not a whole lot more.

And for Ammanda, that's not really a reason to celebrate.

"I don't see it on my gas gauged," she said, laughing. "We can't go out of town. We can't go on trips or anything."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.