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GettinG back on the road is touGh after thieves ruin Gas tank

BY RAY MAGLIOZZI

Dear Car Talk:
My newly acquired 2018 Nissan
Rogue was vandalized. Late at
night, after returning to my car
in a parking lot, we discovered a
massive gas spill and odor around
the car. Then we noticed gas was
coming out from under our car.
A tow was ordered, and the fire
department dispatched. There was
gas everywhere! I was questioned:
“Did you run over something?” I
hadn’t. After the gas had stopped
seeping, the car was towed to a
mechanic. The mechanic called the
next morning and said, “Someone

crawled underneath your car, used
an 1/8-inch drill bit and made a
hole in your tank!” Wow.
Now, six weeks later, my car has
yet to be repaired. Though at a
reputable repair shop, a gas tank
for such a new car is just not
available! It’s been back-ordered for
six weeks. I wait patiently each week
for an update from the mechanic
(which they duly provide), and
the last communication was that
“the tank is now on its way from
Tennessee!”
This has been a most agonizing
and upsetting, not to mention
inconvenient, ordeal. I had the
car barely four months when this
happened. Have you heard of this?
I’ve been told that because it’s such
a new car, Nissan would not just
have gas tanks sitting around for
replacement. Does that sound legit?
Please provide any thoughts on this
senseless crime. — Rita
Well, it’s unfortunate that these

knuckleheads didn’t decide to
smoke a cigarette while they were
drilling into your gas tank. Then
you could’ve gotten a brand-new
2020 Rogue. There’s probably
no waiting for those. What these
criminals did was obnoxious, and
the result of a bad upbringing.
But I’m not sure it’s completely
senseless, Rita.
My guess is that somebody needed
gas. They probably had a 5-gallon
gas can or an empty 2-liter soda
bottle. So, they drilled a hole in
your tank, took whatever they
could and then ran away, leaving
the rest to spill out on the ground.
It’s a rotten thing to do to another
person, but that’s my guess
as to what happened. And the
explanation for why there are no
replacement tanks available does
sound legit. There really is little to
no reason for Nissan to stock gas
tanks for brand-new cars. There’s
simply no demand for them.

Because of where the gas tank
is located — tucked safely away
from the perimeter of the car — if
you had an accident that crushed
your gas tank, replacing the gas
tank would be the least of your
problems. The car would be totaled.
There was a time when gas tanks
would get replaced because they
would corrode after a few years.
But now gas tanks are plastic. So
they really never fail. We’re glad
yours is finally on its way from
Tennessee. Maybe you should have
ordered two, so you can scalp one
to another vandal victim on eBay?
***
Got a question about cars? Write to Ray
in care of King Features, 628 Virginia
Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or email by
visiting the Car Talk website at www.
cartalk.com.
© 2019 by Ray Magliozzi and Doug
Berman Distributed by King Features
Syndicate, Inc.

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