SCIENCE & TECH: Toyota warns 50,000 vehicle owners to stop driving, get immediate repairs
Toyota Motors, said on Monday it is urging the owners of 50,000 older U.S. vehicles to get immediate recall repairs because an airbag inflator could explode and potentially kill motorists.
The Japanese automaker said the “Do Not Drive” advisory covers some 2003-2004 model year Corolla, 2003-2004 Corolla Matrix, and 2004-2005 RAV4s with Takata airbag inflators.
More than 30 deaths worldwide, including 26 U.S. deaths, and hundreds of injuries in various automakers’ vehicles since 2009 are linked to Takata airbag inflators that can explode, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks.
In some Corolla and Corolla Matrix models, certain vehicles are also involved in a second recall that can cause the airbag to deploy even without a crash.
There have been prior “Do Not Drive” warnings issued by other automakers for vehicles with older Takata airbag inflators after fatal crashes.
Toyota declined to answer if the “Do Not Drive” warning had been prompted by a serious injury or fatal incident involving one of the vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not immediately comment.
Chrysler-parent company Stellantis July warning 29,000 owners of 2003 Dodge Ram pickups to immediately stop driving pending repairs after one person was killed when a Takata air-bag inflator exploded.
In November 2022, Stellantis urged owners of 276,000 other older U.S. vehicles to immediately stop driving after three other crash deaths tied to faulty Takata airbag inflators were reported that year.
Honda Motor, opens a new tab in February 2023 and issued a “Do Not Drive” warning for 8,200 Acura and Honda vehicles after the death of the driver of a 2002 Accord in Bowling Green, Kentucky from a faulty Takata Air bag inflator.
Honda has reported 17 U.S. deaths and more than 200 injuries in the United States related to Takata inflator ruptures.