BMW car owners are a little on edge these days with news outlets across the country reporting that the popular German cars are bursting into flames while parked, in some cases, for days. The resulting damage has been extensive, especially when the vehicles were parked in attached garages or close to residences.
ABC News’ investigative team unearthed more than 40 such BMW fires .Their investigation focused on 17 BMW vehicle fire cases, spanned five years, referenced different models and factored in information found at National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Carfax, an online vehicle history site. If there was an open recall for a fire-related issue, the incident was eliminated from the list.
NFPA has fielded inquiries this week about BMW fire incidents and taken requests for relevant research or data about the car brand. NFPA does not have specific information on BMW fires, but estimates of highway vehicle fires, including cars and trucks, are included in the U.S. Fire Loss Report.
This is not the first time that concern has been raised about vehicle fires starting after the vehicle has been shut off. NHTSA has received several complaints about other brands catching fire while parked. A 2012 article by the Center for Auto Safety describes Ford cruise control deactivation switch recalls and history.
NHTSA can order recalls after completing an investigation. To open an investigation, they need specific information. If you have had a similar incident, or if your car or truck has a safety defect, you can report it at safercar.gov. You will be asked to provide your VIN, vehicle make and model, and any documentation you can share, such as a police report. If you have concerns about any type of vehicle, you can search that site for recalls, investigations or complaints.