Big Change Coming to Gas Pumps Across California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCBS) – California’s Fire Marshal says thousands of gas pumps across California pose a potential safety hazard. Now, the state is ordering 3,000 service stations to remove the “hold open” latches from their gas pump nozzles.

That order means you may have to stay at the pump when you fill up your tank. Authorities point to the more than one-dozen cases of latches made by Vapor Systems Technologies malfunctioning in a dangerous way.

“When people go, they prepay for the gasoline, they go to select the grade, prior to putting the gas nozzle actually into the tank it then opened up, spraying gasoline,” described Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant.

However, gas retailers maintain the VST nozzles have passed rigorous testing.

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Further, Jay McKeeman with the California Independent Oil Marketers Association says the state’s order will be a financial burden for gas station owners.

“We’re upset and angry because this is a government requirement that has gone very, very bad and the state agencies are not stepping up to the plate,” said McKeeman.

Station owners have until Oct. 15 to remove the “hold open” latches.

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