Whenever gas prices shoot upward, gas saving gimmicks appear on the market to rescue disgruntled drivers.
One company offering a supposedly risk-free, gas-saving device is
G-Force Performance Chips, which offers vehicle-specific ECU (Engine Control Unit) chips designed to adjust factory ECU settings to produce the ideal mixture of fuel and air to create more power and better fuel mileage. The Irvine company promises easy
installation and guarantees that the chip will not interfere with the vehicle’s factory warranty.
Visit G-Force Performance Chips’ website, and the first thing you’ll see is a claim of “See increases of UP TO 60 HP.” Additional claims of a 4-7 MPG increase in fuel efficiency, 25-40% lower carbon emissions, and
that installation can be done by ANYONE, are also prominent.
Consumers’ experiences with the product don’t bear out the company’s claims. For example, despite G-Force Chips’ promise of complete satisfaction or a 100% refund, no questions asked, a Minnesota resident says his General Motors dealer told him his car
would not be covered under his warranty if the G-Force chip was installed. When he contacted G-Force about a refund, the company asked him if he had installed it and why he was not happy. Then, after reading the
Terms and Conditions, he learned that a 25 percent restocking fee would apply if the device was not used or was refused.
And despite G-Force’s claim that installation can be done by “anyone,” another car owner turned his car key on immediately after installing the chip, only to have nothing happen. Nor would the car start after he unplugged the chip. He ended up having his
car towed and incurring a repair bill of more than $700 because of a sentry key immobilizer module short and battery failure caused by the chip.
A Wisconsin mechanic who drove his pickup some 1,500 miles after installation saw a decrease in miles per gallon. When he asked for a refund, he was told his guarantee was good for only 14 days. He was, instead, offered a replacement chip.
Among its terms and conditions is the company’s disclaimer stating that its claims of fuel economy and power and performance gains are based on direct customer feedback, not actual tests.
Many complainants also say the company’s personnel are rude and hang up on them.
Vehicle owners would do well to watch out for gas-saving scams. So far, no gas-saving device has proven to be effective, and drivers can save more money, and certainly more time and frustration, by avoiding them than by buying them.