Toyota Recalls 20-Year-Old Vehicles Over Fatal Takata Airbags: Do Not Drive

New Order Impacts Select 03-04 Corolla, Corolla Matrix, and 04-05 RAV4 Models

On Tuesday, Toyota released a warning for specific 20-year-old vehicles equipped with Takata airbags, advising against driving them. This announcement pertains to 50,000 models including the 2003-2004 Corolla, 2003-2004 Corolla Matrix, and 2004-2005 RAV4. The company strongly suggests that owners promptly address any necessary repairs for their car.

The automotive company General Motors has recently released a corresponding notice for approximately 11,000 Pontiac Vibes manufactured in the years 2003-2004. The Corolla Matrix and Vibe were both produced in the same plant by these two car manufacturers.

More than ten years have passed since car manufacturers first announced recalls for the lethal Takata airbags. These faulty airbags have affected around 67 million inflators in numerous vehicles, with a majority of them being in the United States. Despite continuous recall attempts, there are still numerous cars on the road that have not been fixed. In response to this issue, companies are making serious efforts to persuade owners to bring in their vehicles for repair. Some have even resorted to issuing “Do Not Drive” cautions in hopes of preventing any potential accidents.

Over time, the propellant substance in airbag inflators can deteriorate due to prolonged exposure to varying temperatures. This can result in the inflator malfunctioning and exploding upon deployment, ejecting dangerous fragments into the car’s interior. It is especially hazardous for older vehicles that have not undergone necessary repairs.

According to Toyota, the RAV4 requires a replacement of its driver-side airbag. As for the Corolla models, only the passenger-side airbags will need to be replaced.

Faulty airbags have caused 26 fatalities in the United States, with five of those tragically occurring in the year 2022. Unfortunately, this problem has not been contained to just one country as over 30 lives have been lost worldwide due to these bad inflators. In addition to Toyota’s efforts to hold their customers accountable, other car manufacturers such as BMW, Honda, and Ram have also taken drastic measures by issuing “Do Not Drive” advisories for specific models from the early 2000s.

To keep informed about the latest developments regarding the Takata airbag situation and determine if your car requires maintenance, visit the dedicated recall landing page on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

Source: Associated Press

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