That is known as the fuel liid.
If it is cable operated, the cable could be stuck and not returning to enable it to lock. Check if the carpet is preventing the lever from retuening.
If it is electrically operated, the lock at the fuel lid is stuck or broken. Can happen for cable type too.
If it is stuck, try some rust remover and try to pry it out of hiding.
Thursday, July 10th, 2008 AT 6:59 AM