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`CLEAR-GAS’ CLAIMS HIT POTHOLE

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Is clear gasoline better for your car than the colored kind? The Federal Trade Commission says such claims just muddy the issue and wants them stopped.

Amoco Oil Co. has agreed to stop making superior performance claims for its Crystal Clear Amoco Ultimate without scientific evidence to back it up, the commission said Thursday.Amoco spokeswoman Arline Datu said the ads in question ran in 1991 and 1992 and were no longer being used.

She said while the company signed the consent order it disagrees with the trade commission's findings: "We feel that we did substantiate those claims."

The FTC said Amoco, with sales in 25 states, had been advertising its gasoline as giving improved engine performance and environmental benefits.

The company signed a consent agreement, which admitted no guilt but promised not to repeat such claims until it produces supporting scientific evidence.

"Many oil companies try to promote the performance benefits of their gasolines in making the engines run better, cleaner, longer or with more power," said Jodie Bernstein, director of the FTC bureau of consumer protection. "Consumers are wasting money at the gas pump if they are buying higher octane gasoline that their cars need," Bernstein said. "Most consumers will not obtain more or better power, performance, engine cleaning or mileage by using high-octane gasoline."