Following years of litigation a federal court in Kansas City, Missouri on Friday gave preliminary approval to settlements with more than two dozen oil companies and fuel retailers over claims of selling “hot fuel.”

Defendants including BP, Chevron, Citgo, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Loves Travel Stops, among others, have agreed to pay a total of more than $24 million. They also agreed take a series of steps that will compensate for the effect of temperature when selling diesel or gasoline at the retail level.

The issue of hot fuel came to light in 2006 following a series of stories in the Kansas City Star newspaper in which it highlighted claims that when fuel is sold in the warmer months it expands, with the result being buyers get less energy in each gallon of fuel than when it's purchased in colder months.

The court has set a date of June 9 to determine whether the settlement will be made final.

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