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CAC to complete verification of bad gas claims by July 31

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is hoping to complete verification of the 382 claims submitted by motorists who were affected by contaminated gasolene in late 2015, by the end of July.

Chairman, Kent Gammon, says a special Technical Committee established by the CAC to evaluate the complaints has completed verification of 224, or 60 per cent, of the claims received.

He was speaking at the CAC's quarterly media briefing at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries in New Kingston, today.

The committee is headed by representatives of the Island Traffic Authority (ITA) and includes personnel from the HEART Trust/NTA and Jamaican-German Automotive School (JAGAS).

Approximately $32 million in compensation is being sought by the CAC on behalf of the affected consumers, from the petroleum marketing companies whose stations were identified as the locations where the gasolene was sourced.

Gammon said once the committee completes the validation exercise, discussions would resume with the companies, in anticipation of a settlement within a few months.

He noted the petroleum marketing companies' willingness to settle the matter during several meetings that the CAC held with their representatives, pointing out that they and other stakeholders agreed, in principle, to the $32 million being sought.

The chairman, however, said that verification of the 382 claims was the sticking point, as representatives made anecdotal reference of petroleum being acquired by some motorists from sources other than authorised retail outlets.

Gammon said on completion of the validation exercise, it is intended to have a meeting involving the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda, petroleum marketing company representatives and other stakeholders.

“The minister has agreed to have this meeting (and) we hope to get a resolution at that stage. We have done all the leg work (with the companies), and all the issues have been ventilated and discussed. Once the ITA is able to give us one per cent verification (of the claims being evaluated), we hope to get a resolution at that stage,” he added.