Gasoline is a volatile and explosive fuel. Normally this volatile fuel is safely converted into the mechanical motion of your car. However a deadly car fire can result when a car is poorly maintained or has a design defect. Car design defects have a long history with the 1970s Pinto being the most infamous case. The Pinto had a thin-walled gas tank that was located between the rear axle and rear bumper. The rear differential had protruding bolts adjacent to the tank. Rear end collisions over 25 mph caused the bolts to puncture the gas tank which set the stage for an explosion.
Between 1973 and 2000, certain pickup trucks were designed with side-saddle gas tanks located outside of the vehicle’s frame. This made the trucks vulnerable to side impact explosions. The most secure location for a fuel tank is inside the vehicle’s frame between the front and rear axles. Fires have also occurred from poorly designed fuel delivery systems that use a fuel pump to transport gasoline from the tank to the engine through fuel lines.
The specter of defective design that cause car fires is not a thing of the past. Several well-known car manufacturers have made recalls because of fire risks in recent years. The reasons span a broad range of technical problems.
Static Electricity At The Gas Pump
The fire hazard of gasoline is not limited to operating your car. There have been several horrific accidents at the gas pump where motorists inadvertently started a gas fire while fueling up their cars. This commonly happens when a person gets back into their car while the pump is filling up their gas tank. Moving feet against a floor mat or sliding across the upholstery to get back out of the car generates a static charge on their person. When he or she touches the gas pump handle, the static spark ignites gas fumes which sets the gasoline ablaze.
Always remain with the pump when fueling your car. If you must get back into your car, ground yourself by touching an external metal part of your car before touching the gas pump handle. Should a fire occur do not remove the gas pump nozzle. Get away from the area immediately.
If you have been injured by a car fire caused by defective design or another’s negligence, talk to a San Clemente personal injury lawyer for advice and assistance. You should never hesitate to seek compensation from those responsible. Your present difficulties are the consequences of their mistakes or negligence. Contact us at Silverthorne Attorneys today.