GM recalls 207,000 Buicks and Pontiacs for fire risk

General Motors gm is recalling 207,542 Buick Regal and Pontiac Grand Prix sedans because of a risk they could catch fire, and warned owners not to park the cars in garages until they are fixed.

The automaker said Friday that it is recalling 1997-2003 Buick Regal GS and Grand Prix GTP models with 3.8-liter supercharged V-6 engines.

During hard braking, drops of oil can leak from the engine onto the exhaust manifold, and fires can start if the oil gets hot enough, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says on its website.

GM spokeswoman Carolyn Markey said the problem has caused 267 vehicle fires and six injuries, five minor and one moderate. It also has caused 17 fires in structures, GM said.

Markey said GM sent letters to owners Thursday telling them the vehicles are safe to drive, but they should not be parked in garages, carports or other structures until the problem is repaired.

The automaker is working with suppliers to get the parts to fix the problem, and owners will be notified as soon as parts are available, Markey said. She did not know how long it would take to get the parts.

If owners smell burning, they should take their car to a dealership for inspection, she said.

Markey said there are "very, very low incidences of vehicles actually catching fire while driving."