Jessica Mathews /

The state is highlighting consumer protection efforts to ensure Livingston County motorists and truckers and others across Michigan are getting both the quality and quantity of fuel they’re paying for at the pump.

Michigan Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell showcased the state’s efforts on Thursday at a Williamston gas station. He said as consumers continue to feel the pinch of skyrocketing fuel prices, he wants them to know that the Department’s inspectors play a critical role in protecting motorists, truckers and their wallets at the gas pump. McDowell said their job will be to continue to ensure motorists can fill up with confidence and know they’re getting every dollar worth.

A press release states that while most gas station operators are delivering the proper quality and quantity of fuel, motorists can help increase their protection by making sure the price display on the pump is set to zero before the pump starts and verifying the sign on the roadway matches the price on the pump before fueling. In addition, consumers should always request a receipt as a record of their purchase.

McDowell says Michigan boasts a nearly 95% compliance rate on fuel pumps, and the 5% percent non-compliance can be attributed to a variety of issues including display malfunction, or even providing too much fuel. Less than 1% of devices are said to fail for delivering too little fuel. In those situations, the Department works with station owners and operators to help them get back into compliance.

President/CEO Ed Weglarz of the Midwest Independent Retailers Association says "Our retail members are in step with the motorist. We would rather see lower gas prices so the customer would have more money to spend inside the store. Also, do not overfill your gas tank, nor run it below a quarter full. Overfilling can cause damage in the fill-pipe, while running near the bottom of the tank can cause damage to the fuel pump!”

More information about how to improve fuel economy as well as report potential unfair gasoline pricing practices is available in the attached release.