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Honda tells some Fit owners to park outside due to fire risk; window switches being recalled

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A Honda Fit is seen in a file photo.

HONDA / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge Image

A Honda Fit is seen in a file photo.

DETROIT - Honda is urging the owners of more than 686,000 Fit and Jazz subcompacts worldwide to park them outside because the power window switches can catch fire.

The company said Friday that it is recalling Fit and Jazz cars from the 2007 and 2008 model years. It's telling owners not to park them in garages until driver's side door switches can be inspected.

Honda said water can get inside the door through an open window and damage the switches, causing them to overheat and potentially sparking a fire. The company said the problem hasn't caused any injuries, but spokesman Chris Martin said seven switches have melted and two caused fires in the doors. No structure fires have been reported, he said.

The recall covers more than 143,000 Fits in the U.S. and about 35,000 in Canada. The Fit and Jazz are the same car, but sold under different names in different markets.

It's the second recall of the cars for the same problem. In January 2010, Honda recalled the cars, but the repairs weren't "sufficiently robust to ensure that all switches would be completely sealed against all possible moisture intrusion," Honda said in a statement. All of the melted switches and fires happened before the first recall, Martin said.

Under the new recall, owners will be asked to take their cars to dealers, who will inspect the switches. If there's damage, the switches will be replaced. If there's no damage, the cars will go back to the customers until enough parts are available to replace all of the switches, Honda said. After the inspections, owners can safely park the cars in garages again, Martin said.

The repairs will be made for free. Honda will start notifying owners about the recall in mid-July. People with questions can call Honda at (800) 999-1009.

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