50,000 Toyota Owners Warned to Stop Driving Now
If you're driving a 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla, 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla Matrix, or a 2004-2005 Toyota RAV4, Toyota Motor Corporation says to stop driving it immediately.
The vehicles are being recalled because of defective Takata air bag inflators that could explode, causing severe injury or even death. Some 50,000 Toyota owners in the United States alone are affected.
The recall is in response to the Takata air bag inflators causing over 30 deaths - mostly in the United States - and numerous injuries since 2009. Not only have they exploded, but the explosion releases metal shrapnel inside vehicles.
It's officially called a "Do Not Drive" advisory. Toyota advises to get your affected Toyota in for repairs before continuing to drive it.
The Takata air bag inflators have been very problematic for over 20 automakers in the past decade, with 67 million units being recalled in the United States alone (over 100 million worldwide). It continues to be the biggest auto safety callback in history.
In this particular recall:
- 2004-2005 Toyota RAV4 driver's airbag
- 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla front passenger airbag
- 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla Matrix front passenger airbag
It's Not the First Recall Involving Takata Air Bag Inflators
Reuters notes that certain models of Corolla and Corolla Matrix are also involved in a recall that can cause an airbag deployment without being involved in a crash.
Other vehicles involved in a previous recall of the Takata air bag inflator includes:
- 2003 Dodge Ram pickups
- some older Honda and Acura vehicles
It's a good idea to check with the manufacturer of your vehicle to see if any recalls have been issued. The manufacturer covers the cost of the repairs.