Toyota “Do Not Drive” Warning Issued for Vehicles Still Equipped with Recalled Takata Airbags

Nearly 100 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide since 2014 due to the risk of exploding Takata airbag inflators, which have killed dozens of people worldwide.

Toyota is warning owners not to drive more than 50,000 vehicles, which still contain recalled Takata airbags that could explode and cause serious injuries or death.

The “Do Not Drive” advisory impacts certain Toyota Corolla, Toyota Corolla Matrix, and Toyota RAV4 vehicles from the 2003 through 2005 model years, indicating that owners should immediately have the airbag inflators inspected and repaired.

According to the Toyota airbag recall and warning announced on January 25, the vehicles may still be equipped with defective Takata inflators that are prone to overinflate and rupture airbags, sending sharp debris into the passenger compartment.

Takata Airbag Problems

Since 2014, the global recall of Takata airbags has affected nearly 100 million vehicles, prompted by the discovery of faulty and unreliable inflators prone to over inflation and explosion, which can spray the inside of the vehicle with shrapnel when deployed.

In the U.S., the recall affected around 67 million vehicles from over 20 automobile manufacturers, marking one of the largest and most intricate series of recalls ever recorded in the country.

Officials suggest that the problem with the Takata airbag inflators originates from the manufacturer’s use of the chemical ammonium nitrate to inflate the airbags during an auto accident. This chemical can react to heat or humidity upon exposure, leading to its breakdown within the metal enclosure, which ultimately can result in an explosion of metal debris.

To date, at least 38 people have died worldwide and more than 400 have been injured due to the recalled Takata airbags.

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Takata Airbag Lawsuits

Millions of Vehicles Were Recalled in 2014 Due to Exploding Airbags That Caused Injuries and Deaths.

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Toyota Airbag Recall

In October 2019, Toyota recalled nearly 930,000 vehicles due to the presence of Takata airbags and the risk of explosion.

Officials indicate that the recalled airbag inflators become increasingly dangerous and unpredictable as they age, posing risks of severe injury or death to the vehicle’s occupants, particularly in older vehicles still equipped with the defective inflators.

The vehicles affected by this latest recall include 2003 through 2004 model year Toyota Corolla vehicles, 2003 through 2004 Toyota Corolla Matrix vehicles, and 2004 through 2005 Toyota RAV4 vehicles. About 50,000 vehicles are estimated to be affected.

Owners of affected Toyota vehicles are urged to promptly check if their vehicle is subject to the Takata airbag recall, schedule repairs as soon as possible, and refrain from driving the vehicle until the recalled airbag has been replaced.

Toyota will provide free repair or replacement of the airbag. Known owners of these vehicles are being informed by Toyota every month through various communication channels. To check if your vehicle is affected, visit Toyota.com/recall or nhtsa.gov/recalls and input your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or license plate information.

For any additional questions, customers can also call the Toyota Brand Engagement Center 1-800-331-4331.

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