Toyota urges owners of old Corolla Matrix and RAV4 models.com2F0a2Fa22F9bb7f7657fa741da92c9b2eca73f2F657bd8556b65490783bf483e5eeaccf3

Toyota urges owners of old Corolla, Matrix and RAV4 models to park them until airbags are replaced

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota and General Motors are telling owners of about 61,000 older Corolla, Matrix, RAV4 and Pontiac Vibe models to stop driving the models because their Takata airbag inflators pose a risk of that they explode and throw out shrapnel.

Monday's urgent warning applies to certain 2003 and 2004 model year Corolla compact cars and Matrix hatchbacks, as well as the 2004 and 2005 RAV4 small SUV. Also covered are approximately 11,000 2003 and 2004 Pontiac Vibes, which are essentially They are identical to the Matrix and were manufactured in the same Californian factory. Most vehicles are located in the USA

“If the airbag deploys, there is a higher chance that a part inside will explode, shooting sharp metal fragments, which could result in serious injury or death to the driver or passengers,” Toyota said in a statement.

The recalled RAV4s have Takata driver airbags, while the Corolla and Matrix models have them on the passenger side. The Corolla and Matrix are also subject to a separate recall because their airbags can deploy without an accident, the company said.

Both companies said owners should contact a local dealer instead of driving the cars for repairs. Dealers offer options such as mobile repairs, towing the car to a dealer, or picking up and delivering the vehicle.

Owners can enter their 17-digit vehicle identification number at to see if their cars are affected.

Takata used volatile ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate airbags in an accident. However, the chemical blowing agent can degrade over time when exposed to high temperatures and humidity. It can explode with excessive force, blowing up a metal canister and spitting out shrapnel.

Since May 2009, at least 26 people have been killed by Takata inflators in the United States, and at least 30 people have died worldwide, including people in Malaysia and Australia. In addition, around 400 people were injured. The exploding airbags caused Takata of Japan to go bankrupt.

The potential for a dangerous malfunction led to the largest series of automobile recalls in U.S. history. Around 100 million inflators have been recalled worldwide.