Michigan attorney general Jennifer M. Granholm has announced that she has notified 33 additional Michigan gas stations of violations of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, bringing the number of stations notified to 46. Each station will receive a letter from the attorney general's office demanding that the stations reimburse all customers for the excessive prices charged from September 11 to 13.
Granholm said consumers are entitled to the difference between the prices actually paid and the state average on an equivalent grade of gasoline. Stations unable to provide refunds for all customers will be required to pay a civil penalty equal to three times the amount of money that the station did not reimburse to consumers.
Granholm said the number represents a small minority of stations overall.
"In the face of what was an extremely uncertain situation for every resident and every business in this country, the vast majority of Michigan's gas stations did the right thing and held the line on gasoline prices,” Granholm said. “Those few stations that responded to the crisis by cranking up their prices made a poor and illegal decision. It's one thing for a gas station dealer to increase prices a few cents to reflect real fluctuations in the market, but to summarily increase prices 50% or 100% or, in some cases, 200% is topping off at the expense of consumers."
Granholm said she will ask the Michigan Legislature to designate any funds generated through these civil penalties be directed to the relief efforts in New York and Washington, DC.