Preliminary approval given to settlements in so-called 'hot fuel' litigation, plaintiffs say

MarketsAssociated Press

Twenty-eight oil companies and retailers have agreed to settle litigation claiming customers were knowingly overcharged when gas station fuel temperatures rose.

The plaintiffs' attorneys said in a news release Friday that a federal judge in Kansas City, Kansas, has given preliminary approval to settlements in the so-called "hot fuel" litigation.

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As temperatures rise during warmer months, gasoline expands, meaning customers get less energy per gallon. But gas is price based on a standard of 60 degrees.

Defendants include ConocoPhillips Company, ExxonMobil Corp., Sinclair Oil Corp. and Sam's Club. They've agreed to a take a variety of steps, including upgrading to equipment that corrects for the effects of temperature on fuel. Some of the companies also will help pay states for fuel oversight efforts.