Tips for Consumers: Gas Saving Scams

Tips for Consumers
Gas Saving Scams

As gas prices creep higher than ever, consumers in the Hagerstown area should be aware of some of the ridiculous advertising claims being made for gadgets to give better mileage, save gasoline and cut emissions. Most of these devices have been tested and been found worthless.
Numerous tabloids, infomercials and Internet web sites are selling gas saving devices, complete with extreme claims like: "Our device improves fuel economy by 20% and cuts emissions too!"
"After installing your product on my car, I got an extra 4 miles per gallon!"
What are these "magical" gadgets? Most are air bleed or vapor bleed devices, liquid injection systems, ignition replacement parts, fuel line heaters, coolers or even magnets. Other products include mixture enhancers, accessory drive modifiers and simple fuel or oil additives. All have been tested by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and none live up to their claims.
The Federal Trade Commission pursues false advertisers, and it has found that claims such as "saves thousands of dollars on gas!" or "increased mileage up to 300%" are either false or grossly exaggerated. They have not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage.
Most ads feature glowing testimonials by satisfied customers...but who are these people? Few consumers have the ability to test for precise changes in gas mileage. Variables include traffic congestion, road and weather conditions, and the car's condition. And claims like "Approved by the Federal government" are nonsense!
Several years ago the FTC conducted an Internet surf to detect deceptive gas-saving claims and then sent warning letters to more than 50 companies making questionable advertising claims. They were warned that they may be subject to law enforcement action if they keep making false claims.
Don't believe dramatic fuel-savings claims for automotive products.

(ITALICS PLEASE)Always contact the BBB to check out legitimate businesses. Visit their web site, www.baltimore.bbb.org or give them a call 24 hours a day at 410-347-3992. If you have a complaint, use the web site or write them at: BBB, 1414 Key Highway, #100, Baltimore, MD 21230. Their office serves Hagerstown and all of Washington County.