You may have noticed that some gas stations no longer have nozzles that you can brace open as you fill up your tank. Thom Heller, Mammoth Fire Division Chief, sent us information that the State Fire Marshal has issued a mandate to California gas stations to remove hold open latches on all Vapor System Technologies (VST) nozzles.
The Fire Marshal said that some of these nozzles have allowed gasoline to be unexpectedly sprayed before the nozzle is inserted in the vehicle’s gas tank. The State says that 13 spraying incidents have been reported and confirmed. Seven of those incidents resulted in consumers sprayed with gasoline.
The State Fire Marshall says that if you use the VST nozzles, insert the nozzle into the gas tank before selection of a grade of gas. Do not use any type of foreign object in the handle to keep the gas flowing. If you encounter a VST nozzle with the hold-open latch still in place, the State says, do not use it.
Gas station owners have until October 15th to remove the hold open latches. The Air Resources Board is currently working with VST and other manufacturers on replacement nozzles. When the replacement nozzles become available, they will provide the station owners the option of replacement of their current VST nozzles with a nozzle that provides hold-open latches for their customers.