FUEL-FED FIRES

Cars and Trucks are not suppose to leak fuel after an accident and cause fires.

Almost all the vehicle manufactures agree that a person should not be able to survive an automobile collision but then die in a fire caused by a leaking fuel system. Despite this well known and accepted principal, post-collision fires happen frequently and when they do the results are tragic.

A well designed and safe fuel system will prevent fuel from leaking after a collision. The fuel system is composed of the fuel tank, the filler neck, the fuel lines, and various component parts that help deliver the fuel from the tank to the engine so that the vehicle will run. Defects in any of the areas of the fuel system can be fatal.

For example, the tank location must be carefully thought out and put in an area where it least vulnerable from impact during a collision. Placing the tank in an area where impacts occur and could reach the tank is a design flaw that has led to the deaths and injuries of countless people over the years. Further, the tank is often made of lightweight aluminum, steel or plastic. These materials are susceptible to damage and must be shielded. The lack of a shield can also compromise the fuel system.

Another common defect in fuel systems is the lack of a check valve or check valve failure. Manufactures have known since the 1930’s that check valves in various parts of a fuel system could keep fuel from escaping from the tank or other parts of the fuel system in rollover accidents and various other collisions. In the 60’s the US government issued a report that it was common for fuel to spill out of the fuel filler neck in the event of a rollover accident. The most common accident type associated with fatal burn injuries are rollover accidents. The addition of a check valve in the filler neck would eliminate this problem. ​​

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