DETROIT -- Who hasn't spilled fuel on his or her hands at a service station? Or had the check-engine light come on because the fuel cap wasn't tightened?
A capless fueling system would solve both problems, suppliers of the technology say.
"The whole world wants a capless system," says Robert Benjey, product innovation manager at Eaton Corp.'s Ann Arbor, Mich., fuel systems center, where work on such a system has been under way for about two years. Eaton doesn't have the system in production, though the company says it sees a growing demand.
But it is unlikely that automakers will adopt the technology in large numbers unless suppliers can show a cost benefit, says Kim Korth, president of consulting firm IRN Inc., in Grand Rapids, Mich.
"The suppliers are probably overoptimistic about it, and the OEMs are probably overly pessimistic," she says.