Had you taken anthing on the car apart before this happened? Or did anything unusual occur such as rain getting into the car and soaking things? Little things can cause big problems.
I know of a mother who let her two little girls wash her car. One of them took off the gas cap and filled the tank with water from the hose. She had watched her mother do that numerous times at the gas station. Needless to say mom did not get too far down the road on her way to work the next morning.
1993 190E 2.3
2000 Toyota 4x4 Tundra