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High gas prices fuel scams [06/18/2006]

High gas prices fuel scams

Buyer beware.

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- Federal regulators say mileage-increasing devices and additives sold to U.S. drivers frightened by high gas prices are bogus.

The Environmental Protection Agency has tested more than 100 products during the last 30 years without finding any that provided a significant improvement, The Washington Post reported. A few did give drivers a small boost in fuel efficiency, although usually at the cost of increasing emissions -- a violation of air quality laws.

"A lot of these claims tend to rely on magical thinking," said John Millett, an agency spokesman. "If it really were a magic bullet, we would know about it."

Some of the companies that market fuel additives are really pyramid schemes, recruiting dealers who, if they make any money at all, usually do it by recruiting more dealers.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed a lawsuit against one company that claims its product is non-toxic. Abbott says the product -- a pill -- is chemically related to moth balls and is both toxic and useless at boosting car performance.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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