The fuel system in a car has the potential to make that vehicle a bomb on wheels. A single spark or a drop of gasoline on a hot surface can suddenly produce a huge fire that spreads extremely quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were approximately 174,000 vehicle fires in 2015. These fires killed 445 people and caused 1,550 injuries.
Part of the reason for these fires is the nature of gasoline itself. The fuel has tremendous incendiary and explosive power. For example, one gallon of gasoline packs as much explosive punch as several sticks of dynamite. A design flaw or a defect in a fuel line, connector, or other parts can unleash this power, resulting in a potentially deadly car fire.
Millions of vehicles have fuel system integrity problems
Vehicle manufacturers have struggled to deal with fuel system problems for a long time. In recent years, every major car manufacturer has had to recall vehicles due to defects in fuel systems. And with each passing month, manufacturers issue new recalls. One such recall involving fuel system integrity occurred in October 2015, when General Motors recalled more than 1.4 million cars. In February 2017 alone, the monthly recall report compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration listed eight recalls involving fuel system defects that have the potential to spark deadly vehicle fires.
The problems with fuel system safety are surprising when you consider the fact that gasoline-powered vehicles have been produced since 1886. Yet manufacturers have consistently failed in their duty to design and build vehicles that are safe and have fuel systems that minimize the potential for vehicle fires.
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a vehicle fire caused by a design or manufacturing defect, you may be able to claim compensation. You should speak with an experienced product liability attorney as soon as possible.