GM Holden Ltd. is recalling RA Rodeo light trucks after 19 incidents of fuel flash caused by a mixture of air and fuel vapor coming into contact with static electricity built up during the filling process
The auto maker says that in some of the 19 incidents people suffered minor burns.
The recall involves ’03-’05 models with gasoline engines and covers about 22,000 vehicles sold in Australia and New Zealand. It does not include cab chassis models or Rodeos equipped with diesel engines.
GM Holden Executive Director-Engineering Tony Hyde says the fuel filler nozzle may be pushed towards the vehicle body during the filling process, causing the hose clamp connecting the pipe to the tank to discharge static electricity.
Hyde says GM Holden and manufacturerMotors Ltd. have instructed dealers how to correctly ground the clamp through the vehicle body, eliminating any charge buildup. Vehicles modified after sale by removing the OE bed also will have their fuel filler replaced in case the original fuel filler has been compromised.
GM Holden andhave been investigating the issue since late last year after receiving two incident reports in eight months. The problem was identified on Rodeos on which the OE beds had been removed and aftermarket units installed, potentially adjusting or exposing the fuel filler pipe. Further investigations identified an issue on gasoline Rodeos with tanks that had not been modified.
Rodeo owners are being told to fill their vehicles slowly to reduce the risk of fuel vapor release because static electricity is built up according to the rate of fuel flow. They should also avoid moving the fuel filler in any way.
“The risk of fuel flash is statistically extremely small and requires a very specific set of circumstances including the speed of fuel fill, weather conditions and static buildup,” Hyde says. “Holden Rodeos have been filled literally hundreds of thousands of times without incident.”