Nissan Pathfinder Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My wife's 2013 Nissan Pathfinder suffered a punctured fuel tank yesterday. She said while she was driving she heard 'something' rattle under the back of the truck and saw 'something' in her rear-view fly from under the truck. Approximately 25 miles later when she stopped at the local Savemart, store employees called over the PA system for the owner of a new Pathfinder because fuel was leaking 'all over the parking lot'. The police and fire departments were called to clean up the HAZMAT and direct traffic away from our truck. A fireman amazed us when he stated that our Pathfinder has a unshielded PLASTIC FUEL TANK:eek: that's held up by two straps and it appeared to him that one broke, bounced off the road and punctured the tank. After having it towed to the dealership we were told that Nissan is NOT responsible for what happened and we'll have to pay to have our truck fixed. This happened to us and it will happen to other Pathfinder owners... BEWARE!!!!
If anyone has the same problem and/or would like information about our ordeal please email me at [email protected]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
I'm sorry to hear about your wife's situation. I think the Fireman was doing a good deal of guessing. The Pathfinder's tank is actually held up by 3 strap and each of those is held in place by two bolts. This is a pretty common method to secure fuel tanks. Some truly off-road vehicles have skid plate / protection options that you can install for added protection. Additionally, the plastic used for the tanks is pretty thick and difficult to puncture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I'm sorry to hear about your wife's situation. I think the Fireman was doing a good deal of guessing. The Pathfinder's tank is actually held up by 3 strap and each of those is held in place by two bolts. This is a pretty common method to secure fuel tanks. Some truly off-road vehicles have skid plate / protection options that you can install for added protection. Additionally, the plastic used for the tanks is pretty thick and difficult to puncture.
If we had know the tank was plastic we probably wouldn't have bought this vehicle. And if the skid plate was an option for a plastic fuel tank we definitely would've paid for such an option. What really bothers/scares us is the customer service rep that my wife talked to kept trying to tell her that the hole in the tank was made by a small object that was obviously (we'll see tomorrow) run over and forced into the tank... It is reasonable to assume that a small object, no matter the density, should not have been able to puncture the fuel tank... That's why we don't feel safe driving it anymore. We know for sure the tank probably won't hold up in a crash and it's a good chance it will get punctured again during the life of ownership with us... I hope Nissan will quickly realize the need to factory recall not only all Pathfinders but all other Nissan vehicles that are susceptible to this kind of damage. We are not broke or poor but we don't have $42,000 to waste... We should've spent another $10,000 and bought a BMW or Lexus SUV...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
If we had know the tank was plastic we probably wouldn't have bought this vehicle. And if the skid plate was an option for a plastic fuel tank we definitely would've paid for such an option. What really bothers/scares us is the customer service rep that my wife talked to kept trying to tell her that the hole in the tank was made by a small object that was obviously (we'll see tomorrow) run over and forced into the tank... It is reasonable to assume that a small object, no matter the density, should not have been able to puncture the fuel tank... That's why we don't feel safe driving it anymore. We know for sure the tank probably won't hold up in a crash and it's a good chance it will get punctured again during the life of ownership with us... I hope Nissan will quickly realize the need to factory recall not only all Pathfinders but all other Nissan vehicles that are susceptible to this kind of damage. We are not broke or poor but we don't have $42,000 to waste... We should've spent another $10,000 and bought a BMW or Lexus SUV...

Can you say over reaction? You do realize that majority of automakers use plastic fuel tanks? And yes that includes Lexus and BMW. Taking a non-mechanic's word, a fireman at that, is laughable. So you've given up on a car because of a freak accident that caused a fuel leak? I have a friend that spent 10k on a paint job on a classic show car and he pulled out and some idiot totaled the car, is that the painters problem? I would love to hear the dealership says, unfortunately, I feel it's not going to be what you want to hear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I really hope you're right... And we're not really taking what the fireman said as a mechanical fact. We're pissed because something 'small' put a hole in our plastic fuel tank... If she ran over a boulder or some metal or a road gator we wouldn't be so concerned. It's not just about us, we're concerned about everyone's safety... And I was not aware that plastic tanks are the norm... But either way the tank should be covered so freak accidents like this don't happen... I'll post what happened at the dealership and I promise to be very honest...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Look forward to hearing what the outcome is and if they can determine exactly what did create the puncture. As noted, almost every modern vehicle on the road has the same fuel tank construction - Economy vehicles to full size pickups.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,259 Posts
Surprised they are using plastic tanks and not metal, especially since there's quite a few metals to choose from, some really cheap, some pricey.

Would it be the same for the JX?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,206 Posts
Almost all cars are made with plastic tanks with 2 plastic straps.

Metal tanks rust.

You need to figure out why the straps snapped and fight with Nissan to figure out why they aren't covering it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
If we had know the tank was plastic we probably wouldn't have bought this vehicle. And if the skid plate was an option for a plastic fuel tank we definitely would've paid for such an option. What really bothers/scares us is the customer service rep that my wife talked to kept trying to tell her that the hole in the tank was made by a small object that was obviously (we'll see tomorrow) run over and forced into the tank... It is reasonable to assume that a small object, no matter the density, should not have been able to puncture the fuel tank... That's why we don't feel safe driving it anymore. We know for sure the tank probably won't hold up in a crash and it's a good chance it will get punctured again during the life of ownership with us... I hope Nissan will quickly realize the need to factory recall not only all Pathfinders but all other Nissan vehicles that are susceptible to this kind of damage. We are not broke or poor but we don't have $42,000 to waste... We should've spent another $10,000 and bought a BMW or Lexus SUV...


That is a call only you can make, but I will say that the PF mounting of the fuel tank, is actually industry standard. 3 straps, can vary, but a whole lot of tanks are of a polymer construction. If you simply do not want a polymer tank equipped car, then just have a look at the prospectus car. You will be surprised of how many have poly tanks. That said. There is so much crap on our roads nowadays. How do you know you did not run over something that cut the strap. I am not trying to be an idiot, but merely devils advocate. I would open a complaint with Nissan, and leave it up to them to prove to you, that their strap did not fail, as that is clearly their obligation. On the roads of today, many things can happen. Or if you don't want to fool with it, just go find yourself a vehicle with a metal tank you feel comfortable with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
One critical part of the performance criteria of the tank is its ability to meet crash requirements. Generally, plastic tanks are considered safer in crashes because they are seamless and, thus, not prone to failures in the vulnerable seam areas. They are not a source of sparks. Also, plastic tanks deform and have some ability to rebound back to shape. When steel tanks absorb energy and deform, the pressure within the tank increases as the volume decreases. This makes them vulnerable at welded or clamped areas where failure can potentially occur.
The thermal properties of the chosen material are also an issue, especially due to the proliferation of injector fuel delivery systems, where a portion of the unused fuel delivered by the gas pump is returned to the gas tank at "engine-hot" temperatures. At the same time, the tank must withstand extreme temperatures in North America from -40°C to 79°C in-tank temperatures. The 79°C temperature not only exceeds the boiling point of the alcohol fuels, but also creates sagging problems for plastic (especially under the weight of a filled tank) while the extreme cold introduces potential cracking problems. As a result, OEMs resort to heavier gauge plastic, negating at least some of the weight advantage, and must also use support brackets and special shields against the heat of local sources like an inferior or perforated muffler or tailpipe. High ambient temperatures underneath the car remain a consideration.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,066 Posts
Removing my post because I'm just restating what has already been said.

To the OP: Good luck with your PF, I hope you're able to get the situation resolved to your satisfaction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
UPDATE... The burden of proof that the fuel tank strap failed and punctured the tank was on us and there's no way we could do that so we're going to bear the cost to replace the tank. Surprisingly it's only going to cost us (Nissan quote) $1075.00 for parts and labor. The fuel tank will have to be sent from Japan so we're looking at 6 to 7 days for delivery plus a day or two for the install. Nissan seemed to be more sympathetic to our situation and tried to assure us that this will probably never happen again... LOL

After reading all of the posts, I do think we over-reacted but justifiably so. We had no idea plastic fuel tanks were the norm. We traded in a '06 Pathfinder for this one and the one we traded had a metal fuel tank. We also have a '13 Scion tC and that car has a metal fuel tank. The only plastic tank I've ever seen is those installed in motorcycles... But anyway, I hope this doesn't happen again, to us or anyone else. Don't be surprised if Nissan initiates a factory recall for the replacement and/or install of a protective shield to prevent these types of punctures. No matter what Nissan told us, THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN... I'll keep you all posted if anything else comes up...Thank you all and good luck!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
UPDATE... The burden of proof that the fuel tank strap failed and punctured the tank was on us and there's no way we could do that so we're going to bear the cost to replace the tank. Surprisingly it's only going to cost us (Nissan quote) $1075.00 for parts and labor. The fuel tank will have to be sent from Japan so we're looking at 6 to 7 days for delivery plus a day or two for the install. Nissan seemed to be more sympathetic to our situation and tried to assure us that this will probably never happen again... LOL

After reading all of the posts, I do think we over-reacted but justifiably so. We had no idea plastic fuel tanks were the norm. We traded in a '06 Pathfinder for this one and the one we traded had a metal fuel tank. We also have a '13 Scion tC and that car has a metal fuel tank. The only plastic tank I've ever seen is those installed in motorcycles... But anyway, I hope this doesn't happen again, to us or anyone else. Don't be surprised if Nissan initiates a factory recall for the replacement and/or install of a protective shield to prevent these types of punctures. No matter what Nissan told us, THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN... I'll keep you all posted if anything else comes up...Thank you all and good luck!!!
This will happen again because there's so many people experiencing this problem? Highly unlikely and even more unlikely there is ever a recall for one customer's perceived problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
If we had know the tank was plastic we probably wouldn't have bought this vehicle. And if the skid plate was an option for a plastic fuel tank we definitely would've paid for such an option..

A/b 99% if not 100% of vehicles have plastic fuel tanks now. that change started in the late 90's early 2000's.. Metal tanks are prone to rust, which the deposits get sucked up into the fuel system and cause problems. Also plastic tanks don't spark if the straps were to break and then cause a HUGE explosion. Plastic is safer which is why now are in use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Plus manufactors re-act fast to safety complaints especially fuel related. If you recall Nissan had a recall on some of the new Sentra's because the fuel tanks could have a possible issue. The NHTSA is also always on top of these things as well for all auto makers, both foreign and domestic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
if i were you i would read up on lemon law, if you really believe that this was a factory malfunction, nissan needs to fix it period!!. it is covered under warranty. i dont know about your state but here in nc if your vehicle has been in the shop for 20+ days you can initiate lemon law proceedings...just a thought
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,259 Posts
Plus manufactors re-act fast to safety complaints especially fuel related. If you recall Nissan had a recall on some of the new Sentra's because the fuel tanks could have a possible issue. The NHTSA is also always on top of these things as well for all auto makers, both foreign and domestic.
Also contacting NHTSA on it will be the right move as the more aware they are about this issue, they can build a case, and eventually push the car maker to take some serious action.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the advice nissanguy... I didn't think of contacting the NHTSA. We did file a complaint via the BBB. I know it won't go anywhere but atleast when other people start having the same issue maybe Nissan will do something about it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My wife was contacted by the BBB today. She missed the call, but whoever it was left a message stating that they would really like to file this complaint and that the complaint sounded pretty serious to them... We'll keep everyone posted...
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top