Gasoline retailers defend quality of product at the pumps

By The Star Staff

Following public doubts expressed about the octane level of gasoline sold at island gas stations, and the recent intervention of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO by its Spanish acronym) in the matter, the Puerto Rico Gasoline Retailers Association (ADGPR by its Spanish initials) on Wednesday defended the quality of the product.

The ADGPR assured the public that gasoline wholesalers and distributors have appropriate methods for measuring and guaranteeing the quality and octane rating of gasoline.

Questions about the level of octane followed social media postings in which a consumer said he measured the gasoline dispensed at the pump and found irregularities with the octane level of several brands, the association said.

DACO then launched a probe and requested independent laboratory tests from wholesalers/importers to confirm the octane rating of their products on or before May 7 to confirm that their products comply with the legal and regulatory provisions applicable in this respect.

“As retailers we receive and dispatch a product that we trust complies with all regulations and quality, including octane,” ADGPR President Rafael Mercado said. “But, equally, we take with caution the methodology that was carried out on this occasion to take the octane rating because we do not know its certainty. However, the face of the brand is at the retailer and, therefore, we are concerned about any irregularity that affects our reputation with the consumer. We will be attentive to the results of the DACO investigation and remain at the command of both government agencies and consumers to channel allegations.”

The ADGPR groups more than 750 gas stations.

In Puerto Rico, Regulation of Weights and Measures No. 2 -- On Octane Number of Gasoline Sold in Puerto Rico (No. 3689) establishes the method for checking and labeling the octane number of gasoline that is sold in Puerto Rico. It indicates in Article 3 that the sale or transfer of gasoline in Puerto Rico whose octane content is less than 87 is prohibited.

“We are months away from the hurricane season beginning again and it is vital that we have the guarantee of a product that complies, both with the law and with the expectations of our customers,” Mercado said.

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