Gas Tank location Suzuki Grand Vitara

Should I be concerned about how far back the gas tank is located? I bought this car for my daughter and my neighbor said because it sits back to far and could explode or catch fire on a rear end impact.


What year?

Where exactly is the gas tank of this vehicle located?

If it is located behind the rear axle and very close to the rear bumper, then there might be valid cause for concern, especially in view of the reality that SUVs don’t have to meet the same rear impact standards as sedans and coupes do.

‘‘Could’’…under only the most rare and unusual circumstances.
Unless she’s somehow in the habbit of slamming on the brakes amidst hiway traffic, you have nothing to worry about.

One thing people do to add a level of reinforcement is to add a receiver hitch to the vehicle …even if you never pull a trailer.
Speaking of receivers …many companies put them on anyway…BECAUSE that’s an added ‘‘frame rail’’ back there.
Since there’s never been a recall on yours for that reason, THAT tells me there is also sufficient frame rail support back there already and quite possibly a receiver too.
– look to see to satisfy your curiousity.

I STILL have my 1979 chevy pickup with those…( oh God, heaven forbid )… OUTSIDE the frame rail mounted dual saddle tanks
Key word …STILL…

You should not worry over this and it might be best to avoid listening to any more fear mongering from your neighbor.

It’s a 2002

Another vote for ignoring your neighbor. You could talk to your insurance agent about your concerns.

Ken thanks for suggesting to see if it has a frame rail. I will look into that tomorrow!

Hurry up and run into your neighbor’s house and have him shut off the natural gas immediately! He could develop a leak to the furnace or water heater and blow his house up.

I think I would be more worried about the long-term availability of parts for the car, since Suzuki is now an orphan brand with no dealers or service centers anymore.

ken green: Yeah. NBC Dateline’s exploding GM pickup. It reminds me of MythBusters . If it won’t blow up, install an incorrect leaking gas cap and add some pyro! The difference being MB admits doing it. Here are a couple of excerpts.

Dateline’s report on Nov. 17 1992 featured 14 min. of balanced debate, capped by 57 seconds of crash footage that explosively showed how the gas tanks of certain old GM trucks could catch fire in a sideways collision.

Following a tip, GM hired detectives, searched 22 junkyards for 18 hours, and found evidence to debunk almost every aspect of the crash sequence. Last week, in a devastating press conference, GM showed that the conflagration was rigged, its causes misattributed, its severity overstated and other facts distorted. Two crucial errors: NBC said the truck’s gas tank had ruptured, yet an X ray showed it hadn’t; NBC consultants set off explosive miniature rocket motors beneath the truck split seconds before the crash – yet no one told the viewers.

What will this episode mean for NBC News? Theories last week ranged from short-term embarrassment all the way up to demise. The most probable result is that all TV-news shows will look for more about celebrities, crime and vastly less complex scandals. The safety of GM trucks is exactly the kind of issue that popular news programs should address. But instead of making sure that they do it right, skittish producers and executives will probably be inclined for a while not to do it at all.

If it’s on the TV news it must be true. Riiiiight!

It doesn’t look like it has a frame rail.

Unless there are believable reports that this car bursts into flame from rear end collisions, I’d discount what the neighbor is saying. The vehicle manufactures are very aware of the flamability of gasoline, and go to great lengths to design their products to be as safe as possible in the event of something as common as a rear end collision. Think of it this way. Of all the miles you’ve driven, all the accidents scenes you’ve driven by, have you ever even once seen a wrecked car engulfed in flames?

Your neighbor must have owned a Pinto.

Federal regulations have since the Pinto required crash protection for the gas tank. Visit the NHTSA website for specifics on how well the car crash tested.

I’m curious; does your neighbor also wear polyester leisure suits? Perhaps he’s a time traveler from the past.

I have to confess that in 50 years of car ownership, I never once considered where the gas tank was or if there was a frame rail, as part of the decision to buy or not. I can’t even be sure where the heck the tanks are on the cars I have now.

Mythbusters has done several exploding gas tank myths over the years. A fun one was shooting at a car with full and partial tanks of gas with regular bullets and tracer bullets to provoke one of those Hollywood ball-of-flame explosions. No boom, no ball of fire, nada, nothing, squat. If THAT doesn’t cause a gas tank to burst into flames I think the Suzuki is pretty safe.

"Of all the miles you’ve driven, all the accidents scenes you’ve driven by, have you ever even once seen a wrecked car engulfed in flames? "

“If THAT doesn’t cause a gas tank to burst into flames I think the Suzuki is pretty safe.”

Vehicle fires following a crash are now very rare, but they do still happen.

In my neck of the woods, only about 5 months ago a revered young teacher was killed when her almost-new Ford Edge hit a tree and burst into flames. Here we have a situation where the impact was nowhere near the fuel tank, and yet there was a conflagration that led to the death of this young woman and the fetus that she was carrying.

The local and state authorities were unable to determine why her Edge burst into flames, and as a result, The NHTSA is investigating this crash.

I had a Suzuki with the tank in the rear and it seem pretty well protected. The tank fear may be a rouse but getting parts form a car division that no longer sells cars here would be a turn off owning any Suzuki in the future.

I would just try to sell the car now and get what you payed for it…then move on to a popular make and model. I had trouble getting parts that did not cost an arm and a leg ffor each of the three different Suzuki products I owned. I avoid them now. It’s the exploding wallet that you should most fear down the road.

@VDCdriver You are right, they are very rare. . We had none in the big car pile in our state this year. Some cars were wrecked beyound recognition and no one was killed, but some were seriously, not critically injured. No exploding cars. But still, like the article shows, a few is still too many.

I looked up your SUV at There are no complaints for the 2002 Grand Vitara catching fire under any circumstances. If you want to talk to an expert, contact your auto insurer and ask them. They have access to accident records on their policies, nada my have access to all accident records. I suspect that you will find that this SUV is no worse than any other SUV.

You young folks here should be advised, however, that fuel tanks prone to breaking in a rear end collision and feeding a fire was a very real problem in the early Ford Pintos. Ford was forced to recall some 1-1/2 million cars for the problem. People died in car fires resulting from low speed rear end collisions as a result of the design flaw.

It was also discovered in the course of the investigation into the problem that Ford had internal memos discussing the design defect. Engineers recommended a design change, but Ford had calculated the risk of rear end collisions resulting in fires and deaths and calculated that it would be less expensive to pay the resulting lawsuits than to incorporate the change. They actually calculated a value for each life expected to be lost and compared that with the cost of the design change. Those internal memos became public knowledge when they were exposed in wrongful death lawsuits… the situation cost Ford millions. But it also cost people their lives.

After that disaster, new standards were developed to prevent such a thing from happening again. Cars sold in the U.S. in the last 45 years are not prone to consuming themselves in fires in a low speed rear end collisions.

“They actually calculated a value for each life expected to be lost and compared that with the cost of the design change.”

Those calculations are still being made

If not by Ford, then by other manufacturers

The more things change, the more they stay the same . . .