Consumer Groups Want Safer Fuel Tanks

May 3, 2001
Filed under Trailer News

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Consumer groups have unveiled an alternative fuel-tank design for General Motors pickup
trucks built between 1973-1991 with side-mounted gasoline tanks. The tanks are linked to
fires in side-impact crashes. Public Citizen and the Center for Auto Safety said a private
research effort has produced a design for a 19-gallon tank mounted inside the pickup’s
frame. GM called the new design plan “engineering malpractice” and has gone to court to
stop efforts to sell the new fuel tanks using funds from coupons sent by GM to owners of
the affected trucks. About four million of the trucks are still in use, despite information
that the 20-gallon tanks mounted outside the main chassis rails can catch fire in certain
side-impact crashes.

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