FOR RELEASE: OCTOBER 8, 1993
NEW YORK OIL COMPANY SETTLES FTC CHARGES IN CONNECTION WITH OCTANE RULE
Agway Petroleum Corporation, a New York-based gasoline dis- tributor, has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the Commission's Octane Rule by failing to properly certify the octane ratings of gasoline it sold to retail gas stations. Under the proposed settlement, Agway would be required to pay a $25,000 civil penalty and be prohibited from violating the rule in the future. Agway Petroleum Corporation, doing business as Agway Energy Products, is headquartered in DeWitt, New York, and markets gaso- line and other petroleum products in 11 Mid-Atlantic and New England states.
An octane rating is a measure of a gasoline's ability to resist automotive engine "knock" or "ping," resulting from an uneven burning of the compressed fuel-air mixture. The FTC's Octane Rule requires retailers to disclose the octane rating of their gasoline by posting the now-familiar bright yellow sticker on each pump. (Effective Oct. 25, the Octane Rule will be renamed "the Fuel Rating Rule" to include alternative liquid automotive fuels including, among others, methanol and ethanol.) The disclosure requirements of the Octane Rule are intended to help consumers choose the correct gasoline for their engines. Under the rule, gasoline refiners and importers determine the octane rating. After that, each entity in the distribution chain must certify the octane rating to the next recipient, based either on its own determination or the certification it received. This is the rule provision Agway is alleged to have violated.
The proposed consent decree to settle these charges would require Agway to pay the civil penalty to the Treasury of the United States, and would prohibit the company from violating any provision of the Octane Rule in the future.
- more - (Agway Petroleum Corp.--10/08/93)
The complaint and proposed consent decree were filed Oct. 7 on behalf of the FTC by the Department of Justice in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York in Syracuse. The Commission vote to authorize the filing of the complaint and proposed consent decree was 5-0.
NOTE: This consent decree is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the company that it violated the law. Consent decrees have the force of law when signed by the judge.
Copies of the complaint and consent decree will be available shortly from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. The FTC also has a consumer brochure titled "Octane Ratings" that explains the Octane Rule and how consumers can choose the best gasoline for their automobiles. It is available from the same address.
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MEDIA CONTACT: Brenda A. Mack, Office of Public Affairs 202-326-2182
STAFF CONTACT: Elaine D. Kolish, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3024 or Jeffrey E. Feinstein, 202-326-2372
(FTC File No. 922 3190)
(Civil Action No. 93 CV 1278)