Father was operating a motor vehicle, when he ran over a tree branch. There were five passengers in the vehicle, including Father’s three young children. After running over the branch, Father smelled gasoline and pulled over to the side of the road. Gasoline was seen to be leaking out of the fuel tank. Father and the adult occupants of the vehicle opened the doors to get the children out. Before they could do so, the gasoline ignited, engulfing the vehicle. Two children died as a result of the fire and one sustained burn injuries. The cause of the children’s deaths and injuries was the vehicle’s defectively designed fuel system–the fuel tank was located in a vulnerable location in the vehicle and was unguarded; the tank was structurally inadequate and subject to being struck and punctured by road hazards and debris; and the bottom surface extended below the vehicle floor pan, exposing its leading edge to road hazards and debris.
Fuel Storage System