A common feature of fuel caps was the ability of the cap handle/cover to breakaway in collisions while allowing the body of the cap to remain sealed onto the end of the fill pipe. Such a cap was called a breakaway cap. The breakaway feature allows the end of the fuel pipe to move into and around the car body during collisions without generating forces on the sealing mechanism of the fuel cap that might allow fuel leakage. This feature is particularly important in collisions involving rollover when the likely source of spilled gasoline was out the fuel tank fill pipe. Simple instrumented tests document the performance of a variety of caps under conditions of low force induced torque on the cap handle/cover. In some instances caps leak before the cap handle/cover breaks away while other caps perform properly and breakaway before leaking. A recent innovation observed on some Ford vehicles eliminated the fuel cap and provided a refueling port that opened upon insertion of the gas filling station nozzle and self sealed upon its removal.







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