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Toyota, GM Issue Do Not Drive Order for Older Corolla, Matrix, RAV4, Pontiac Vibe Models

Toyota has issued a rare and urgent Do Not Drive order for owners of some older vehicles equipped with potentially deadly airbag inflators. It’s the latest update in the ongoing Takata airbag recall — the largest recall in automotive history. The order also affects a Pontiac built in partnership with Toyota.

The order affects the:

The Vibe was sold by GM’s now-defunct Pontiac division, but shared almost all of its parts with the Matrix.

Toyota urges owners to park the vehicles immediately and not drive them again until dealers have replaced aging airbag inflators.

The vehicles use airbag inflators built by the now-defunct Takata Corp., which have been blamed for at least 32 deaths worldwide. They grow more dangerous as they age, so automakers occasionally increase the urgency of their pleas for owners to bring the cars in for repair.

Takata airbags, under large-scale recall since 2013, were used by at least 34 automakers in cars sold on at least five continents. The federal government’s primary car safety agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), says at least 67 million cars sold in America used the parts.

NHTSA believes that about 50 million of those cars have been repaired. That leaves up to 17 million on the road, putting their drivers and passengers in danger.

A Grenade in Your Steering Wheel

Airbags inflate thanks to inflators — tiny metal capsules filled with chemicals that combine in an accident to create a rapidly expanding gas. That gas should squirt out of a small nozzle to inflate a folded fabric bag that cushions passengers.

But some Takata inflators, instead, may burst, sending hot metal shrapnel flying directly at the driver and passengers.

The problem grows more dangerous over time as chemicals degrade.

The growing danger has caused HondaChrysler, Dodge, BMW, and now Toyota to issue stop-driving orders to drivers who still haven’t had the free repair completed.

The Repair Is Free

Recall repairs, by law, are always free. Given the urgency of the situation, Toyota is going beyond scheduling free repairs. The company says dealerships may provide mobile repair at customers’ homes or arrange to pick up the cars and deliver them repaired to keep customers from driving them in for a recall appointment.

The company says it reaches out to known owners at least once a month to ask them to bring the cars in for repairs. But automakers consistently tell us that getting customers to respond to recall requests is one of their biggest challenges.

Take this one seriously if you own an affected car. We’ve seen reports of drivers killed by Takata airbags after being notified of the danger dozens of times. The repair costs nothing, and Toyota will come to you to do it.

Check whether your car has any outstanding recalls with the easy VIN tool at our recall center.

Vehicle owners who prefer talking directly to the manufacturer can call Toyota’s customer support line at 1-800-331-4331. To find out Takata-specific information from other vehicle manufacturers, please check here.

This article was originally published by a www.kbb.com . Read the Original article here. .

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