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Toyota tells drivers of 50,000 cars to get immediate repairs because their airbag inflators could explode

Tom Carter   

Toyota tells drivers of 50,000 cars to get immediate repairs because their airbag inflators could explode
  • Toyota has told some US drivers not to drive their cars as the airbag inflators might explode.
  • Affected cars contain Takata airbag inflators, which have been linked to over 30 deaths since 2009.

Toyota has told drivers of around 50,000 of its vehicles in the US to get urgent repairs over fears that their airbag inflators could explode, causing "serious injury or death."

The Japanese auto giant issued a "do not drive" advisory on Friday for some older models equipped with a Takata airbag inflator, a part Toyota said was at risk of exploding and firing "sharp metal fragments" inside the car when the airbag deploys.

The vehicles impacted include the 2003-2004 Corolla, 2003-2004 Corolla Matrix, and 2004-2005 RAV4. Toyota has pledged to repair or replace the airbags in all affected cars for free.

Takata airbag inflators have been linked to more than 30 deaths and hundreds of injuries since 2009, and have been responsible for the largest safety recall in automotive history.

Over 67 million airbags have been recalled by automakers in the US alone over the past decade and around 100 million worldwide, with Takata filing for bankruptcy in 2017 after years of lawsuits and criminal investigations.

The latest incident involving the defective inflator came in December, as BMW recalled 500 cars following an explosion that reportedly saw a driver suffer from severe shrapnel injuries and have a large piece of metal surgically removed from his lung.

Toyota has faced a series of headaches over vehicle safety in recent months. In December, its subsidiary Daihatsu halted production after admitting it had been forging safety tests for over 30 years, including on vehicles sold under the Toyota brand.

The manufacturer, which is the world's biggest carmaker, also faced a separate airbag issue late last year, and recalled more than one million vehicles over a defective sensor that could lead to the airbag failing to deploy during a crash.

Toyota did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours.




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