Why Aren't There More Capless Fuel Fillers?

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I generally don’t consider myself to be overly prissy when it comes to filling my car with gas. I’m not even worried about messing up a fresh manicure since I’m really more of a pedi girl. However, after two recent stints in Ford vehicles (the Flex and the Fiesta) using Ford’s Easy Fuel system, I don’t want to go back. This is one of those features you never knew you needed until you have it.

Once you open the fuel door, you don’t need to use brute strength to unscrew a stuck-on fuel filler cap after your husband screwed it a little too tightly shut the last time. (I’ve even been known once or twice to ask another gas-station patron to help crank that puppy over.) Instead, you just insert the gas pump, and the spring-loaded flapper door opens on its own. When you’re done, the door closes behind you, closing even more tightly than the hand-crank screw-on version. Voila! A full tank of gas. Clean hands. No nasty, lingering chemical smell from touching a cap soaked in a gas slick from the leaky pullout.

Capless fuel fillers have been seen on certain Ford vehicles since 2008. What I don’t understand is why more automakers haven’t caught on to this feature and add it to their cars. Ford’s initial market research showed that 75 percent of women and 68 percent of men were highly interested in this feature. In addition to the Easy Fuel system on Ford’s lineup, there’s only other vehicles we’re aware of with a capless fuel filler are the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Cadillac XTS.

Do you drive a vehicle with a capless fuel filler? If so, what do you think of it? Would you ever go back to the old system? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Former Senior Family Editor Kristin Varela blends work and family life by driving her three tween-teen girls every which way in test cars. Email Kristin Varela

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