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California drivers overcharged for gas in 2015, could be repaid

California drivers overcharged for gas in 2015, could be repaid
Posted at 10:53 PM, Jul 10, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — If you filled up gas in Southern California in 2015, two major trading companies probably ripped you off. That’s according to the California Attorney General, who announced a $50 million settlement that could put some money in your pocket.

“In San Diego, it’s crazy,” said Dustin Hayes while paying for gas.

'Atrocious' and 'horrible' are just some of the words San Diegans use to describe the cost of filling their tanks.

“I'm on empty, and I’m just putting two gallons for the rest of the work week, so Thursday and Friday and I try not to drive for the rest of the weekend," said Andy Pedroza at the pump. "Yeah, I can't afford it.”

Although we cannot do much about today’s high gas prices, the Attorney General announced that some California drivers could be reimbursed for gas they bought in 2015.

It’s part of a $50 million settlement with gas trading firms Vitol and SK Energy Americas on Wednesday. The lawsuit claims that the companies worked together to manipulate the spot market in California, overcharging gas stations and raising the price at the pump.

“These two traders- they claimed gas was sold and bought- but it was just a scam to drive up the price of gas on the spot market,” said Jamie Court with Consumer Watch Dog.

Court works with an advocacy nonprofit that helped pass SBX1-2 last year to prevent this type of market manipulation in the future.

“Now every trade has to be recorded and told to the state," Court said. "Prior to that, there was no official record of the trades.”

It’s still unclear how much money each driver can receive from the settlement. The number is determined by the number of people who submit a claim.

“Yes, I’ll definitely file a claim now that I know about it,” Pedroza said.

“Is it worth getting $20 back? $30? I don't know,” Hayes said.

Once the court authorizes the issuance of notice to California residents, you can submit a claim online at CalGasLitigation.com. The website wasn't active yet as of 9 a.m. Thursday.