Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive
Monday, January 22, 2001
CORNYN SUES TO STOP SALE OF MISLEADING FUEL VOUCHERS
National Fuels Corp. Cited in Scheme to Offer 'Free Gas' to New Car Customers
AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn has obtained a temporary restraining order in Travis County to halt the sale of "gasoline vouchers" as an incentive to spur prospective new car buyers.
Cited in the petition is National Fuels Corp., a Delaware company with home offices in Seattle, Wash. The company allegedly sold these vouchers to several Texas automobile dealers, who in turn offered them to new car buyers as part of an incentive plan to spur car sales.
"Buying a new car or truck in today's market is a major decision for individuals and families, and making those monthly payments can be challenging," said Attorney General Cornyn. "Having to also deal with a confusing and misleading scheme for gasoline reimbursement - that in the end doesn't save money - is a burden that Texas consumers shouldn't have to deal with."
Under the plan, for example, a dealer would purchase a $500 voucher for $45 and provide these to customers, who then would be responsible for applying for reimbursement by submitting monthly gasoline receipts to National Fuels. With the $500 voucher, the customer could seek reimbursement for up to about $42 per month for a maximum of 12 months.
However, the state's petition, filed by the Consumer Protection Division, alleges deception. Dealerships have received calls from customers complaining that National Fuels failed to activate their accounts and that reimbursements for gas purchases either have not been made or have not been made timely, as advertised. Most recently, customers have alleged that reimbursement checks sent to them from National Fuels have "bounced."
The Attorney General alleges the company has violated the Deceptive Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act by:
- 30 -
Contact Mark Heckmann, Tom Kelley or Jane Dees at (512) 463-2050.
Go to Top