SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCBS) – California’s Fire Marshal says thousands of gas pumps across California pose a potential safety hazard. Now, the state is ordering 3,000 service stations to remove the “hold open” latches from their gas pump nozzles.

That order means you may have to stay at the pump when you fill up your tank. Authorities point to the more than one-dozen cases of latches made by Vapor Systems Technologies malfunctioning in a dangerous way.

“When people go, they prepay for the gasoline, they go to select the grade, prior to putting the gas nozzle actually into the tank it then opened up, spraying gasoline,” described Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant.

However, gas retailers maintain the VST nozzles have passed rigorous testing.

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Further, Jay McKeeman with the California Independent Oil Marketers Association says the state’s order will be a financial burden for gas station owners.

“We’re upset and angry because this is a government requirement that has gone very, very bad and the state agencies are not stepping up to the plate,” said McKeeman.

Station owners have until Oct. 15 to remove the “hold open” latches.

Comments (7)
  1. AJ Buttacavoli says:

    First plastic bags, now gasoline nozzles. Has California gone crazy?

  2. tm says:

    Sabee reported there have been 13 incidents and 1 injury with the existing pumps. Out of how many millions (billions?) of fill ups since they’ve been installed? Unreal.

  3. gene richards says:

    Smashing a flea with an M1 tank. Poor governing.

  4. buckhorn29 says:

    Ok, what’s the problem? Some lamebrain can’t find the gas spout before squeezing the nozzle? I have never had a problem with any gas nozzle ‘prematurely’ gushing out. What’s next? Somebody’s credit card won’t work so we have to pay in cash?

    1. mjones says:

      The problem is not the fault of the person. When activated after selecting your grade, the nozzle sprays gas on its own. It has nothing to do with stupid customers. It has to do with the company who makes the nozzle. Talk about a waste of tax money? Whats the point of CARB if they are not going to demand companies make equipment that works right? Instead the just certify junk and tell the stations….whoops sorry!

  5. kathryn rogers says:

    I have a real problem when it comes to pumping gas myself. What about people with disabilities??? I CANNOT pump gas myself without extensive pain in my hands and arms. Whose going to pump my gas??? So much for considering the disabled… AGAIN !!!

  6. Chris Montgomery says:

    A shut-off malfunction will happen whether or not a person is standing there holding the nozzle and more likely to injure that person if they are required to stand there and operate it. So, if the concern is really for the safety of the person, why require them to physically operate the nozzle at the moment the shut-off valve is most likely to malfunction ?

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