RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Thousands of cars on North Carolina’s roads need urgent repairs — some so serious that the feds have classified them as “do not drive” or “park outside” alerts.

The recalls are issued because there’s a problem serious enough that it could cause an accident or severe physical harm if left uncorrected.

Here in North Carolina, we’ve got more than 85,000 cars on the roads with serious unresolved recall repairs according to tracking by Carfax, which has looked at recalls mandating “do not drive” or “park outside.”

With 2.5 million cars nationwide in that situation, those numbers make us 8th in the nation for serious, unresolved recall repairs.

“There are many different factors involved,” said Patrick Olsen of Carfax. “I do think consumer apathy. I also think recall fatigue is a real thing.”

For example, many Takata airbag recalls are listed as do not drive, but those recalls have been going on since 2014.

A shortage when it comes to parts, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, made those recall repairs drag on and on.

Another factor is the age of the automobiles.

“Just last week, BMW issued a new one for 90,000 models going back to the 2004 model year,’’ said Olsen. “These are 19-year-old vehicles. So we may be in their second, third, fourth, fifth owner at this point.”

Federal law doesn’t prevent used cars from being resold with outstanding recalls on them, so it’s up to you to figure out if your recently purchased car has an open recall.

Carfax has online tools available to alert you to recalls.

The “park outside” recall may not appear serious to drivers, but it’s being done because of fire danger to Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

And it can happen without warning whether your vehicle, also including a Jeep model, is parked or driving causing a scary situation for drivers.

Federal law says all recall repairs must be done free of charge and in a timely manner.

“If any consumer goes to a dealership who for whatever reason, says they can’t do it, they should immediately go to the next nearest dealership,” said Olsen. “If they get trouble with the turnaround, talk to the corporate office.”

If that doesn’t work — escalate it.

File a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration including as many specifics about the dealership as possible.