Chattanooga man says recalled car almost burned down his home

Kevin Muhammad walked out to his garage Sunday afternoon and saw his car on fire. His first instinct? Push it out to the yard. (Image: Kevin Muhammad)

Kevin Muhammad walked out to his garage Sunday afternoon and saw his car on fire. His first instinct? Push it out to the yard.

"The front end of my car was on fire" he said. "It's literally on fire."

Muhammad says his 2006 BMW was sitting in the garage of his home, an hour after his wife last drove it. He says the car was off, without any keys nearby, before it burst into flames. He pushed it out of the garage so it wouldn't threaten the house.

"House is in good shape," he said. "Everyone else was in good shape."

The one thing that wasn't in good shape: his car. After firefighters came to extinguish the flames, he did some research to find out how this happened. That's when he learned about BMW's recent recalls that increased risks of fire, even when the vehicle is unattended.

"I put my VIN number in," Muhammad said. "And sure enough my car was on that recall."

Muhammad says he never received a notice about those recalls and now., his insurance company is taking up the claim with BMW. This topic was also the center of an ABC investigation earlier this year.

Consumer Reports say BMW is expected to repair any damages for free, as long as they can determine the damages were caused by the recalls.

Muhammad says situations like his should be enough evidence.

"How else can someone's car just be sitting in the garage, just sitting there," he said. "Just sitting there and it just catches fire."

According to ABC News, citing the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, there are two recalls that affect more than a million BMW drivers in North America. One recall involves the heater for the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve, and the other recall involves wiring and electrical connectors in the system that controls air flow for heating and air conditioning.

The PCV valve heater recall affects BMW vehicles from these models and years: 128i from 2008 through 2011; and the 328i, 525i, 528i, 530i, X3. X5 and Z4 from 2007 through 2011.

The blower motor system connectors recall affects vehicles of these models and years: 323i, 325i, 325xi, 328i, 328xi, 330i, 330xi, 335i, 335xi and M3 from 2006 through 2011; 335is from 2007 through 2011; and the 335d from 2009 through 2011.

If your BMW meets the criteria of the recall, local BMW dealerships urge you to bring them in, however, BMW says they won't be ready for those repairs until December 18th, when the recall begins.

If you don't own a BMW, but want to see if your car if affected by a current recall, you enter your VIN here, on the NHTSA's safety issues and recalls website.

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