Toyota urges drivers of older Corollas, RAV4s to stop driving until airbags are replaced

Toyota recall.

DETROIT — Officials at Toyota and General Motors on Monday urged the owners of approximately 61,000 older vehicles to stop driving them because their airbag inflators are at risk of exploding.

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The urgent advisory covers Corolla compact cars and Matrix hatchbacks from 2003 and 2004., The Associated Press reported. It also includes the RAV4 model, a small SUV, from 2004 and 2005. An additional 11,000 Pontiac Vibes from 2003 and 2004, are also part of the warning, according to the news outlet.

The Matrix and Vibes are essentially the same vehicle and were produced at the same California factory, the AP reported.

The concern is from the vehicles’ Takata airbag inflators, which could explode and hurl debris, CBS News reported. Because of the airbags’ ages, an explosion could shoot sharp metal fragments, which could lead to injury and possibly death, according to Toyota.

All of the vehicles were in the United States.

The recalled RAV4s have Takata driver’s airbags while the Corolla, while they are located on the passenger side in the Matrix models, the AP reported.

“Owners SHOULD NOT DRIVE these vehicles until the FREE safety recall repair has been conducted,” Toyota said in a news release.

Toyota and General Motors said that owners of the affected vehicles should contact a local dealer, the news release stated. Dealers will provide options that will include mobile repair, towing the vehicle to a dealer, or vehicle pickup and delivery by the dealership.

The latest announcement comes about a month after Toyota recalled about 1 million vehicles in the U.S. because the front passenger airbags may not deploy properly in a crash, posing an additional risk of injury to riders.

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