GM To Owners Of 1.4M Recalled Vehicles: Don’t Park In A Garage For Now

Earlier this week, General Motors issued a recall of 1.4 million vehicles over concerns about a potential fire risk. Today, the beleaguered carmaker is telling owners of those cars to not park them in garages until the problem is repaired.

The problem with these vehicles — Pontiac Grand Prix (1997-2004), Chevrolet Impala (2000-04), Chevrolet Lumina (1998-99), Chevrolet Monte Carlo (1998-2004), Oldsmobile Intrigue (1998-99), and Buick Regal (1997-2004) — is that hard braking may cause drops of oil to be deposited on the hot exhaust manifold, potentially resulting in engine compartment fires.”

The car company knows of 19 injuries and more than 1,300 fires believed to be related to the problem, which has been the subject of three previous recalls. GM says that most of the fires have occurred in unoccupied vehicles.

That’s why, in an “urgent” memo [PDF] to dealers released to the public this morning, GM recommends that owners of affected vehicles should not park in a garage “or other structure” while waiting for the recall fix to roll out.

In spite of that caution, GM claims the vehicles are safe to drive.

“This condition does not affect the safe operation of the vehicle,” reads the memo. “When the condition occurred while the car was in operation, drivers have reported seeing smoke from the engine compartment.”

Customers are being told to sit tight until they are notified to bring their cars in for repair.

When will that be? The notice doesn’t give a date, but the car company claims it is “finalizing a remedy” and is “making every effort to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.”

[Via the Detroit News]