FTC Seeks Public Comment on Petition by Gilbarco, Inc. for Partial Exemption to the Agency’s Fuel Rating Rule

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on a petition by Gilbarco, Inc a fuel dispenser pump manufacturer. The company is requesting a partial exemption from the FTC’s Fuel Rating Rule, which, among other things, requires retailers of automotive fuel to post the automotive fuel rating of all automotive fuel sold to consumers.

The partial exemption would allow Gilbarco to make small reductions in the type and size of fuel labels to allow room for an additional fuel grade button on its pumps. The FTC has published a Federal Register notice seeking public comment. Information about how to submit a comment can be found in the notice.

The FTC implemented the Fuel Rating Rule under the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act in 1979. The law establishes uniform automotive fuel ratings and labeling standards, including octane content information, which provide consumers with the information they need to make informed choices at the gas pump. The rule also defines how ethanol content should be displayed on fuel rating labels.

Gilbarco is one of the largest manufacturers of fuel dispensers in the United States, and three times since 1988, the FTC has approved similar petitions by the company related to proposed fuel label changes. In its current petition, the company is requesting permission to make small reductions to:

  • The type of “XX% Ethanol” and “Flex-Fuel Vehicles” ethanol labels;
  • The type and letter spacing for the words “Minimum Octane Rating” on octane labels; and
  • The width of labels for gasoline and five other types of fuels.

The Commission vote approving publication of the Federal Register notice was 5-0 with Commissioner Christine S. Wilson issuing a separate statement. The FTC will consider all public comments submitted by the deadline in the notice before voting on whether to approve Gilbarco’s petition.

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