Toyota, the renowned Japanese automotive giant, has urgently issued a "DO NOT DRIVE" advisory, recalling approximately 50,000 vehicles in the United States due to a critical airbag malfunction that poses a significant risk of "serious injury or death" to both drivers and passengers.
The recall pertains to specific models, including the 2003-2004 Corolla, 2003-2004 Corolla Matrix, and the 2004-2005 RAV4 vehicles. Toyota emphasized the urgency of the airbag safety recall, highlighting that the age of these vehicles increases the likelihood of the airbag deploying with an increased risk of explosion, projecting sharp metal fragments that could result in severe injury or even fatalities, according to a statement released by the company.
In response, Toyota has strongly urged owners of the affected vehicles not to drive them until the necessary safety recall repairs have been carried out. Instead of driving to repair centers, owners are advised to promptly contact their local dealerships for further instructions.
Toyota has committed to repairing or replacing the faulty airbags at no cost to the owners. The company is actively reaching out to known owners of the affected vehicles on a monthly basis through various communication channels to ensure they are informed about the recall.
This development follows a broader concern related to Takata airbag inflators, with over 30 reported deaths connected to these inflators since 2009, as reported by BBC.
Adding to the recent challenges faced by Toyota, the company halted the delivery of certain vehicles this week due to certification testing errors for diesel engines manufactured by Toyota Industries. An investigation revealed that employees at Toyota Industries had manipulated horsepower output testing during the certification process for three diesel engine models commissioned by Toyota.
Toyota clarified that ten vehicle models globally, including six in Japan, are equipped with the affected engines. This revelation underscores the importance of addressing and rectifying the issues surrounding certification testing to ensure the safety and reliability of Toyota vehicles.
(With Agency Inputs)