TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Your car or the car next to you on the highway could be deemed too dangerous to drive.
Recently released data from CARFAX shows 2.5 million cars in the nation have urgent safety recalls of “do not drive” or “park outside.” Of those, 237,000 are from Florida and 58,000 of those are in the Tampa Bay area.
Patrick Olsen of CARFAX says consumers often don’t know about the recalls or don’t realize how dangerous they could be.
“One, I know that automakers are required to send recall notices through first class mail, and mail is not the primary means of communication it once was,” Olsen said. “Secondly, I think a lot of consumers get these notices and think they are marketing scams or extended warranty scams and tend to ignore them. And finally, I think there’s a small but significant number of people for whom their car is their livelihood and they are either unable or unwilling to take the time off to get these recalls fixed.”
One of the most recent “do not drive” recalls involves 90,000 older-model BMW due to the potential of exploding Takata airbags. Those types of airbags account for a bulk of the “do not drive” recalls CARFAX is warning about. Exploding airbags, Olsen said, can be very dangerous.
“In those cases, more than 20 people in this country have been killed, more than 400 people injured when the chemicals inside these airbags mix over time with the heat and humidity and explode at far greater force than than they’re expected to.”
To see if your car has an urgent recall, you can check CARFAX data for free. There are 200 models for various automakers. To see the full list of cars with “do not drive” or “park outside” recalls, click here.
“The do not drive recall is when the automaker and the federal government says this car needs to be parked right now, we will send a tow truck to get it to a dealership to get it repaired for free,” Olsen said. “The park outside recall is not only do they not want you to park it outside of your garage, they don’t want you to park it next to your garage and if you can, keep it parked away from any structure because the fire risk is just that severe.”