Three oil companies have agreed to settle lawsuits related to “hot fuel” — gasoline and diesel that is not adjusted by volume to account for temperature — the Kansas City Star reported.
Fuels expand in warmer months, lessening the BTU content per gallon and raising the price to consumers, the Star reported in an award-winning series published in 2006.
The paper then estimated that hot fuel cost consumers $2.3 billion a year, and said that at current gasoline and diesel prices, the price tag is now about $3.5 billion.
Attorneys for oil firms BP Products North America Inc., ConocoPhillips Co. and Shell Oil Products US told a federal court last week that they have reached a binding settlement agreement with plaintiffs who filed lawsuits over the issue, the Star reported.
The first lawsuit — which comes after five years of pretrial proceedings — is scheduled to go to trial next month in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., the paper said.