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OKLAHOMA CITY, Ok. -- Albertson's LLC and Wal-Mart are among 13 retailers and oil companies named in a lawsuit that claims they've been overcharging consumers for gasoline that was stored at hotter than usual temperatures.
The three Oklahoma City consumers who filed the suit are seeking class-action status.
According to the lawsuit, the companies kept gasoline at temperatures higher than the petroleum industry standard of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, causing the fuel to expand and provide less energy per gallon.
"The sellers of hot motor fuel are able to pocket these billions of additional dollars in temperature-inflated profits merely because the fuel they are selling is warmer than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and customers are ignorant of the truth," the lawsuit claims.
Defendants in the lawsuit include 7-Eleven Inc., Albertson's LLC, ConocoPhillips Co., Shell Oil Co., Texaco Refining and Marketing Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Vance McSpadden, executive director of the Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers Association, said there is no basis to the lawsuit.
While gasoline is often stored underground in tanks that generally remain around 60 degrees, storage tanks that are above ground are more susceptible to temperature changes, McSpadden told the Associated Press.
If the lawsuit were successful, McSpadden said it would likely cause gasoline prices to increase because retailers would have to install equipment to adjust the sales volume to account for temperature variances.