Detroit, Michigan — U.S. safety regulators have denied a New Jersey man's request to investigate Fiat Chrysler minivans because they can stall after refueling.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 720 complaints were filed with the agency and Chrysler about the problem in Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan vans. But the agency concluded that further investigation is unlikely to find a safety defect because the stalls happen infrequently and at low speeds. It looked at minivans from 2003 to 2007 with total sales of just under 1.9 million.
The agency also noted that it has no reports of crashes or injuries from the problem.
"The failure rate is low, even after eight to 13 years of the vehicles being in service," the agency wrote in documents posted Wednesday on its website. "Given the need to allocate and prioritize NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the agency's safety mission, the petition is denied."
NHTSA also said it will take further action if warranted by circumstances in the future.
Brian Rosa of Union, New Jersey, petitioned the agency in July of last year after his 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan began stalling after the gas tank was filled. He said the van stalled on his wife without warning while she was driving on a freeway. "Stalling without warning represents an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety, and the agency should open a preliminary evaluation," he wrote.
An e-mail message seeking comment was left for Rosa on Wednesday.