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Findings of LPG Vehicle Testing Scheme released

     The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) received today (September 1) the findings of the LPG Vehicle Testing Scheme submitted by the Task Force on LPG Vehicle Stalling Incident and accepted its recommendations on enhancing the safety of LPG vehicles.

     The testing scheme consists of two stages.  In the first stage, the participating LPG vehicles (comprising 28 taxis and six light buses) were assigned to LPG filling stations of different suppliers for gas refilling until they had clocked up 40,000 kilometres, so as to assess the impact of LPG on the performance of the vehicles and other factors such as vehicle operation.  The second stage was the extension test, under which some LPG taxis were assigned to filling stations of suppliers that were different from those in the first stage for gas refilling, in order to identify whether a change in the LPG used would have any impact on their operation.

     There were 33 substantiated engine stalling cases during the test period. The Study Group on LPG Vehicle Testing Scheme set up under the task force has carefully and comprehensively analysed every case. Among the engine stalling cases, 17 cases were caused by the improper fuel/air ratio of vaporisers, 12 cases were caused by malfunctioning of parts, and the remaining four cases were caused by electrical circuit problems.

     Through investigation of the stalling cases, the study group found that systematic examination and methods, with assistance from specific tools, were required to identify the cause of stalling problems and all failing parts involved. More time was also required to examine ageing parts of vehicles.

     The study group concluded from the findings of the testing scheme that if the LPG quality complies with the existing auto-LPG specification of Hong Kong, LPG vehicles can achieve normal operation through regular maintenance.

     The EMSD's spokesperson added that the department had conducted 69 LPG sample tests since early this year. The results indicated that the quality of LPG complied with the auto-LPG specification and have not had any impact on the operation of LPG vehicles.

     The Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services, Mr Stephen Chan, said, "The EMSD will follow up and implement the task force's recommendations on the findings of the testing scheme, to enhance the safe operation of LPG vehicles".

     Recommendations made by the task force include:

(i) The EMSD should continue to conduct random LPG sample tests to ensure that the quality of LPG complies with the auto-LPG specification. Relevant test results should be published online for public reference;

(ii) Information on the key maintenance issues identified in this testing scheme, in particular the procedures that have often been neglected (such as the maintenance of ageing or deteriorating parts and use of appropriate tools ), should be incorporated into the "Code of Practice on the Repair and Maintenance of LPG Vehicle Fuel System" being drafted;

(iii) Key maintenance issues should be incorporated into the syllabus of courses relating to LPG vehicles to be offered by the Vocational Training Council in the future, so as to enhance the maintenance know-how of vehicle mechanics; and

(iv) The trade should further enhance the maintenance and repair of LPG vehicles.

     The task force will be dissolved after the completion of the testing scheme. The EMSD expressed its deepest appreciation for the valuable contributions made by the task force to the whole investigation and the testing scheme.

Ends/Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Issued at HKT 18:27


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