13 Investigates: More inspectors, more inspections


A massive investigation to make sure you're getting what you pay for at the pump is over tonight.

13 Investigates revealed the pump problems, and Indianapolis inspectors responded in a big way.

You barely put your hand on the pump and the next thing you know, $20 worth of gas is in your tank. The reality is you'll probably never actually see the fuel you just bought.

"I really don't know what I'm getting for when paying at this pump," said customer Derrick Childs. Like everyone else, he is buying blind, working on trust that he is not being cheated. "That everything is right," Childs says. "That is why they are in business."

Let's go back one year, when an Eyewitness News investigation found fuel pumps that had not been inspected in years. Purchasing gas at the 10,000 pumps in Indianapolis was a form of petroleum roulette. There was no guarantee you were getting what you paid for. Marion County Code Enforcement had one inspector doing all the inspections. By law, all gas pumps have to inspected every year.

"We have inspected all 10,000 pumps throughout Indianapolis," said Code Enforcement's Al Ensley.

Since our investigation, Code Enforcement has made the inspection stickers more visible, added inspectors including a supervisor to make sure the work is getting done, and in the process, found that about 10 percent of Indy pumps were not accurate. Some were as little as a tablespoon off, some much more.

Jay Sinan, the owner of a station on Southeastern Avenue, says with the price of gas these days his pumps have to be accurate without question. He says his reputation is on the line with every gallon. "We really don't want to be in the middle of something that our pumps are not pumping up to what the customer deserves, with the way they are spending money."

Sinan says profit-wise, he is lucky to break even selling gas. He needs people coming in the store after they fill up, and he says broken or inaccurate pumps will send his customers elsewhere.