Fact Check: Can a vehicle explode if its fuel tank is full in summer?

Social media users are sharing an advisory attributed to Indian Oil warning people about possible fuel tank explosion for filling vehicles to brim in summer.

By Sabya Singh  Published on  8 April 2022 4:15 AM GMT
Fact Check: Can a vehicle explode if its fuel tank is full in summer?

Hyderabad: Social media users are sharing an advisory attributed to Indian Oil warning people about possible fuel tank explosion for filling vehicles to brim in summer.

The content warns people about possible vehicle explosion in case they choose to fill the fuel tank to its maximum limit in summer. The advisory asks people to open the fuel tank once a day to let the gas pass.

NewsMeter received the viral claim on WhatsApp to verify the veracity of the claim.


Fact check:

The claim is false.

NewsMeter conducted a reverse image search which led us to the official Twitter page of Indian Oil.

Indian Oil, on June 10, 2018, tweeted clarifying that the company did not issue any such advisory. In the announcement, Indian Oil said, "There are rumors in social media that Indian Oil has given a warning to the following effect: Due to increase in temperature please don't fill petrol to the maximum limit of the tank; it will cause an explosion in the fuel tank. If you want petrol, fill the half tank and leave the rest for air(sic)."

Indian Oil would like to disown this statement. "Automobile manufacturer design their vehicles considering all aspects of performance requirements, claims, and ambient conditions with built-in safety factors. The maximum volume specified in the fuel tank for petrol/diesel vehicles is no exception. It is, therefore, perfectly safe to fill the fuel in vehicles up to the full limit (max.) as specified by the manufacturer irrespective of winter or summers (sic)," it said

The claim that filling up the fuel tank in the vehicle to the maximum limit will trigger an explosion, makes little scientific sense. This is because the auto-ignition temperature (the minimum temperature required to ignite a gas or vapor in the air without a spark or flame being present) for petrol is 495°F or 257°C. This is way higher than the temperature that an insulated tank can attain in summers with the highest recorded temperature on earth being 56.7°C (134°F), which was measured on 10 July 1913 at Greenland Ranch, Death Valley, California, USA.

https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/highest-recorded-temperature/

Hence, the claim is false.

Claim Review:Indian Oil, warning people about a possible explosion in fuel tanks of vehicles on filling fuel to the brim in summer.
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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