The Ducati plastic fuel tank lawsuit

Dailies -



You’ve probably heard talk of the Ducati deforming plastic fuel tank problem by now. The thinking is that ethanol in American gasoline causes the tanks to deform, in some cases compromising their mounts or fuel lines, leading to potential safety issues. Owners of many plastic tank-equipped Ducatis like the SportClassics, Streetfighter, 848 and Monster have documented many cases of deformation. Ducati North America’s been replacing the tanks with identical ones under warranty for up to five years after the bikes are purchased, but hasn’t delivered what many effected owners feel is a permanent solution. Now, a class action lawsuit has been filed in federal court to try and force them to do just that. You’ll find the full text of the lawsuit below.



via Gerard Gibbs

  • gregorbean

    What a headache. One of my best friends works at arguably the busiest Ducati shop in North America, and he says they’ve been replacing these like crazy for some time now.

  • Turf

    I worked at a small duc shop in PA, we’d replaced quite a few, ducati was quite good about it. but i couldnt help but think that it wouldn’t just be cheaper to go back to the metal ones for most models. Granted the new models never had metal tanks (aside from the alum sbk one)Thinking more back to when it was the old monster style and figure out a new plastic formula.

  • hooligan317

    This is news to me and disappointing at that. I was considering picking up an 848 Evo over the winter but it looks like it may just be asking for a hassle.

    • Rachael

      I just bought the 848 EVO. Its worth the hassle.

  • Ted

    Had mine replaced under warranty as have three local friends. I’m actually a plaintiff in a similar lawsuit. Ducati has been amazingly reponsive and is taking good care of owners, but there needs to be a permanent solution. They’ve unofficially stated they will continue to replace the tanks of affected bikes that are even out of warranty. Not a bad stance to have as a manufacturer.

    Just don’t get me started on the ethanol debate that started this entire problem…

    • slowtire

      Ted, this issue is big in the boating world as well with fiberglass fuel tanks. It’s a real problem and I understand there are multiple lawsuits as well. I have a bike or two with plastic fuel tanks and have been using the marine version of Sta-Bil(green) which is supposed to fight this problem better than the regular(red)Sta-Bil. So far , so good. The only problem is that the state I live in (NJ) is considering raising the ethanol content from the now 10%, to 15%.

  • Kevin

    Love you guys. Now that I’m a paying customer, time to step up your affect/effect game: it’s “affected customers.”

    Learn something new every day.

  • CG

    So, it is too hard to put an aluminum skin under the plastic? This doesn’t seem like an impossible engineering problem, it’s just cheaper to mfr. plastic replacements for the relatively small number of bikes sold in America. Of course, anyone who has bought new cars the last couple of decades understands the concept of “secret” warranties that only exist when you ask….er, VW, Audi,etc.

    Maybe Ducati could do us a favor and sue Archer Daniels Midlands and all the congressmen they own for the problem.

  • muffinman

    I’ve been keeping tabs on this issue and have noticed many other owners on Monster communities go through 2-3 gas tanks.. at some point, you’d think it’d be cheaper for Ducati to develop a permanent solution. Saves Ducati, its dealership network and its customers a whole lot of hassle.. My 696 has been OK so far.. knock on wood

    • Turf

      Haven’t seen a 696 involved, it’s the older style plastic tanks ie. 695,s2r,848,sf

      Have seen more of the monsters than the sbk’s

  • Justin

    i have my fingers crossed that i won’t have this problem with my streetfighter. luckily my monster tank is metal.

  • Matt

    Just bought a Sportclassic from 2006… low mileage, and no big issues yet other than blistering on the tank. Anyone else see any bubbles develop?

    • Kerry

      bubbles are the first sign of trouble. unfortunatly ducati is not replacing tanks on bikes out of warranty for paint defects – there has to be an actual deformity.

  • Mr.Paynter

    Considering their ‘Premium’ market stance, it just doesn’t seem good enough to me.

    I wonder how I’d fair out here in Africa with the tiny dealership in my city if we had similar issues, services out here from larger companies are notoriously bad!

  • Mohd

    I have a 2007 1000GT

    How can I check my tank as the dealer in Kuwait don’t call you for recalls or stamp your warranty booklet when you take the bike for service.

    Help is needed


    • motoguru

      Try lifting from the bottom front corners of it. Those models usually expand in the tunnel thus causing the slide in mounts not to be seated any longer.

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