Beware of Deceptive Advertising Claims for Gas Saving Devices

by : Scott Siegel

There are all kinds of gas saving devices being advertised now. Do a search in Google and you will find that google finds 1.5 million web pages concerning fuel saving devices. As with any situation where people smell money, unscrupulous individuals are always ready to steal your money with the latest scam.

The latest scam is trying to convince you that a fuel saving device attached to your car will miraculously cut your gas consumption 20, 30 even 40 percent. The federal government has done a lot of testing of fuel saving devices. From this extensive testing comes this advice.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns you to be wary of any gas-saving claims for automotive devices or oil and gas additives. Even for the few gas-saving products that have been found to work, the savings have been small.

There are some general themes and methods to the fuel device advertising strategy. Here are a few to beware of:

Be very skeptical of the following kind of advertising claim. "This gas-saving product improves fuel economy by 20 percent." Claims usually tout savings ranging from 12 to 25 percent. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has evaluated or tested more than 100 alleged gas-saving devices and has not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage. In fact, some "gas-saving" products may damage a car's engine or cause substantial increases in exhaust emissions.

Also be skeptical of ads that feature glowing testimonials from satisfied drivers such as: "After installing your product on my car, I got an extra 4 miles [6.4 kilometers] per gallon [3.8 liters]." You cannot put your hard earned dollars at risk because of some amateur drivers claim.

These ads feature glowing testimonials by satisfied customers. No consumer has the ability or the equipment to test for precise changes in gas mileage after installing a gas-saving product. Even if they did have the right equipment they could not control the conditions and the environment under which they could actually test the device.

Many variables affect fuel consumption, including traffic, road and weather conditions, and the car's condition. For example, one consumer sent a letter to a company praising its "gas-saving" product. At the time the product was installed, however, the consumer also had received a complete engine tune-up - a fact not mentioned in the letter. The entire increase in gas mileage attributed to the "gas-saving" product most likely was the result of the tune-up alone. But from the ad, other consumers could not have known that.

These are just some of the tactics that those selling fuel saving devices use to legitimize their claims. They are out there to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers desperate to find a way to lower their gas costs. Don't become a victim of these scams. Be wary of their claims. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!