Smart ForTwo Goes Up In Flames After Gas Station Mishap
Smart ForTwo might need a redesign after this case of mistaken identity
We’ve all heard stories of drivers accidentally putting gas in a diesel as well as the other way around. However, in these cases, there’s often not much more than a drain and refill as a result. This Smart ForTwo driver, on the other hand, learned a fiery lesson at the fuel pumps.
Not being that common of a car in most areas, many people may not ever see one of these. For those who need a little primer, it has a fuel cap on one side and an air intake on the other. Unfortunately for one Julie Nicklin, these look very similar and we now know what happens when gas goes in the wrong one.
One Wrong Move and the Smart ForTwo Ignites
Picture the scene, a 2005 Smart ForTwo at the pumps with the tank being filled like any other car on any other day. Suddenly, a flame erupts from the car and the fire quickly spreads. Lucky for the owner, a nearby builder, Brian Turner, is ready to leap into action. He pulls her from the car and they clear the area moments before the gas tank explodes. Having parked so close to the pump, the driver was unable to get herself out quickly. Other people nearby scatter for safety as the car is wrapped in fire right at the gas station.
Fault in this case is partly on vehicle design instead of operator error. With the fuel door and air intakes looking so much alike, it’s easy to mix them up. There’s a rather different feel to opening a gas cap compared to removing an air filter though. With the combustible liquid going in the wrong hole, it almost immediately starts an explosive reaction.
Despite the destructive lesson Smart ForTwo owners learn from this, there are no reported injuries. Apparently this is a point of contention that owners of the car have been raising for years. We’re glad to see that this isn’t the tragic loss of life that it could have easily been.