Park outside! More than 72,000 cars recalled in Massachusetts due to fire hazard, report says

Is your car at risk of catching fire right in front of your home?

Automaker Carfax said the number of “parking outside” recalls – warnings from federal regulators and automakers to park vehicles away from garages or other structures due to significant fire risk – jumped 40% nationally and 45% in Greater Boston between May 2023 and January. 2024.

“These are the kind of recalls that frankly should keep you up at night,” said Carfax spokesman Mike Lavigne.

Carfax said more than 3.7 million vehicles subject to an “outside fleet” recall are currently on U.S. roads, including 72,672 in Massachusetts. The most recent and highest-profile case occurred last fall when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall of 3.3 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles due to fire risks.

“Given the long lifespan of used cars on the road today, it is very important that you pay close attention to maintaining your vehicle,” Lavigne said.

Check to see if your vehicle is under recall by searching the NHTSA website. here.

“Car fires are extremely dangerous,” Norwood Firefighter Joe O’Malley said. O’Malley said chemicals like magnesium in car engines and lightweight materials inside vehicles make fires harder to put out.

“It’s become an increasingly dangerous fire with the smoke and gases coming from these vehicles as they catch fire,” O’Malley said.

O’Malley said the Norwood Fire Department has been called to extinguish 25 vehicle fires in 2023. He suggests car owners park at least 50 feet away from any structure if their vehicle is considered to have a fire hazard.

“Anything within 50 feet is what we consider an exposure issue until you can get that work done at the dealership,” O’Malley said.

In May 2023, Carfax said there were between 25,000 and 50,000 “do not drive” or “park outside” recall orders for vehicles in Massachusetts. At the time, Carfax said these vehicles were still not repaired…

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