The consumer protection agency estimates that 11% of Mexico’s 12,000 gas stations do not sell complete liters of fuel, which many drivers have either realized or suspected for many years.
Profeco chief Ricardo Sheffield Padilla revealed that crooked gas stations tend to rob 100 milliliters of every liter of gasoline sold. He said Profeco inspects an average of 200 gas stations per week.
So far this year, he said, 79 gas stations have refused to be inspected by the agency, not an uncommon response, putting them under suspicion for selling short liters, which is a federal crime.
“He who has nothing to hide has nothing to fear, but these 79 [gas stations] must have something to hide because they seem to fear inspections,” Sheffield said.
The 79 non-compliant gas stations are all located in nine states that have registered high incidences of fuel theft: Jalisco, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Hidalgo, Nuevo León, Puebla, México and Aguascalientes.
The director said that each of the gas stations has been fined 800,000 pesos (US $42,000) for interfering with the inspection process, which will be repeated until Profeco is given access to the pumps.
Appearing next to President López Obrador at yesterday morning’s daily press conference in the National Palace, Sheffield said Profeco will employ a lottery system in order to randomly inspect 125 stations every week.