Mr Chris Pearce (The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer,), issued a safety warning to owners of motor vehicles which had LPG conversions or who had their LPG tanks retested between mid 2003 and August 2005 to visit an LPG tank installer/fitting station to have their tanks checked.
“Since early 2005, there have been a limited number of pressure ruptures of LPG tanks on motor vehicles, so far without causing any serious injury. However, rupture of an LPG tank due to a build up of pressure can generate very significant forces with the potential for serious injury and damage to property. Most of these incidents involved vehicles with two or more LPG tanks fitted,” Mr Pearce said.
The problem seems to be with the safety relief valve which is designed to relieve any adverse build up of pressure in the LPG tank(s). The problem occurs when the relief valve does not function as intended, this problem occurs depending on the type of valve used and the torque levels used during installation.
If multiple LPG tanks are fitted and the fuel service line to the engine from one tank is closed, so that no fuel is used from that tank and it is maintained as a reserve tank, that tank may gradually overfill and may rupture if the pressure relief valve fails to operate correctly.
All motorists who had LPG tank installations or tanks retested between mid 2003 and August 2005, in particular if two or more tanks have been fitted, are requested to contact an LPG tank installer/fitting station to arrange an inspection and pressure relief valve replacement if required.
The warning suggests that vehicle owners should negotiate with the LPG installer/fitting station on an appropriate fee (if any) for any corrective action required. I suggest however that its good to simply request the original service station to inspect and fix any problems free of charge.
If the tank(s) are “Manchester” branded tanks which were fitted between August 2003 and April 2005, these are subject to a voluntary recall and the pressure relief valves fitted will be replaced at no cost.