"Needs to be fixed" or "needs fixing" would be the way I would say it too as "needs fixed" seems like it is missing a word or two.
In reply to your question, I think it is a local usage/lazy contraction that has been only noticed as people use it online. This post suggests that it goes back at least 5 years http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=16162 .
I haven't personally seen the term being used before. This article suggests it's a "Pittsburgh English": http://www.dailywritingtips.com/this-sink-needs-fixed/
Hope this helps...
Edit: I researched a bit more on which region this usage/contraction originates from.
"However, this truncated expression (“needs washed,” “needs fixed,” and so on) is a well-known usage common to many widely scattered regions of the United States. But it’s even more common in Britain, particularly northern England and Scotland. I would classify it as an example of dialect." (Source: http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2007/10/need-to-know.html)
Anecdotal evidence from other internet folks' indicate central Pennsylvania, Southwestern Ohio, Southern Illinois and Central Indiana. States that the phrase has not been heard of or is uncommon include ME, NH, VT, MA, DC, MD, CA. (Source: http://ask.metafilter.com/148509/needs-replaced-v-needs-to-be-replaced)
From my personal experiences, I have not heard the usage from my Scottish or Northern English friends!