Friday, February 02, 2024 by Laura Harris
Toyota Motor Corporation has advised owners of approximately 50,000 vehicles in the United States not to drive their cars due to potentially deadly Takata airbag inflators.
The advisory, released on Jan. 25, specifies a range of affected models, including certain 2003-2004 Corollas, 2003-2004 Corolla Matrix and 2004-2005 RAV4s equipped with defective Takata airbag inflators.
“Owners should not drive these vehicles until the free safety recall repair has been conducted. Toyota urges owners to contact their local dealer instead of driving their vehicle to be repaired,” Toyota said in a media statement.
According to Toyota, the affected vehicles fall into two categories: the RAV4 recall specifically involves the driver-side airbag, while the recalls for Corolla and Corolla Matrix models pertain to the front passenger airbag. Some Corolla and Corolla Matrix models are also subject to a second notice due to concerns that the airbag could deploy without the impact of a crash.
Toyota advises owners not to drive these vehicles until the necessary safety recall repair has been conducted. The company urges affected individuals to contact their local Toyota dealer immediately for assistance, providing options such as arranging a tow, mobile repair or other alternatives that do not involve driving the vehicle. An online tool is also available for owners to check if their vehicle is part of the recall.
The do not drive advisory follows a series of similar warnings from other automakers, including Honda and Chrysler parent company Stellantis. (Related: HAZARDOUS AIRBAG: General Motors faces recall of 20 million vehicles.)
The Takata airbag issue has been haunting the automotive industry for over a decade now, resulting in the largest auto safety recall in history.
The Takata airbag issue first surfaced in 2013, triggering a domino effect of recalls by more than 20 automakers globally and encompassing a staggering 100 million inflators. The problem lies in the propellant of the infiltrator, volatile ammonium nitrate, which can deteriorate over time, especially when exposed to high temperatures and humidity. This degradation can lead to an explosive deployment upon activation, propelling shrapnel into the vehicle cabin and causing severe injuries or fatalities.
The Takata airbag crisis reached its nadir in 2017 when Takata Corporation filed for bankruptcy. Investigations revealed the use of ammonium nitrate as a propellant, and subsequent recalls unveiled the magnitude of the safety hazard.
Since 2009, these faulty Takata airbags have been linked to at least 33 deaths worldwide, with 24 of them occurring in the United States.
Learn more about cars and their possible defects at RoboCars.news.
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