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Toyota Issues Urgent Advisory for Owners of Older Corolla, Matrix, and RAV4 Models: Park Vehicles Until Airbag Replacement

In a joint announcement, Toyota and General Motors are urging owners of approximately 61,000 older models, including Corolla, Matrix, RAV4, and Pontiac Vibe, to refrain from driving their vehicles immediately. The precautionary measure is prompted by the potential danger associated with Takata airbag inflators, which are at risk of exploding and causing harm.

The advisory, issued on Monday, specifically applies to certain Corolla compact cars and Matrix hatchbacks manufactured in the 2003 and 2004 model years. Additionally, it covers RAV4 small SUVs from 2004 and 2005. Approximately 11,000 Pontiac Vibes from 2003 and 2004, essentially identical to the Matrix and produced at the same California factory, are also included in the warning. The majority of affected vehicles are located in the United States.

Toyota emphasized the serious risks, stating, “If the airbag deploys, a part inside is more likely to explode and shoot sharp metal fragments, which could cause serious injury or death to the driver or passengers.”

The recall specifies that RAV4s are equipped with Takata driver’s airbags, while Corolla and Matrix models feature them on the passenger side. Notably, the Corolla and Matrix are subject to an additional recall due to the possibility of their airbags deploying without a crash.

Both automakers strongly advise affected vehicle owners to contact their local dealerships rather than driving the cars to seek repairs. Dealers will offer various options, such as mobile repair services, towing the vehicle to the dealership, or arranging for vehicle pickup and delivery.