Automotive giants Toyota and General Motors have issued an urgent recall affecting approximately 61,000 older car models. In a recent and critical safety update from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), everyone who owns older Toyota Corolla, Matrix, RAV4, and Pontiac Vibe models should take immediate action. This recall is due to the high risk of Takata airbag inflators exploding and potentially causing serious injuries or even fatalities to drivers and passengers.
Facts Behind Takata Airbag Injuries
The root cause of this issue lies in Takata’s use of volatile ammonium nitrate to inflate airbags in the event of a crash. Over time, this chemical can deteriorate when exposed to high temperatures and humidity, leading to excessive explosions that can rupture the metal canister housing the airbag, sending shrapnel into the vehicle’s cabin.
This defect has led to at least 26 deaths in the U.S. since May 2009 and more globally, with the overall number of fatalities reaching at least 30, alongside approximately 400 injuries. The severity of these incidents forced Takata into bankruptcy and sparked the most extensive series of auto recalls in U.S. history, with around 100 million inflators being recognized worldwide. Government entities around the world have thoroughly reported all of these numbers.
Vehicles Causing Takata Airbag Injuries
The recall specifically targets certain models of the Corolla and Matrix from the years 2003 and 2004, as well as RAV4 models from 2004 to 2005. Additionally, around 11,000 Pontiac Vibe models from 2003 and 2004 are included in this warning. It’s important to note that the Pontiac Vibe is essentially identical to the Matrix, as both were manufactured in the same factory in California. The majority of these vehicles are currently in the U.S.
Toyota has voiced concerns that the Takata airbag inflators in these vehicles are prone to explosion upon deployment, leading to sharp metal fragments being propelled at high speeds. This can result in severe injuries or even death to individuals inside the vehicle. The recall is divided based on the location of the airbag inflators. RAV4 models have the problematic Takata driver’s air bags, whereas the Corolla and Matrix models have them installed on the passenger side. Additionally, the Corolla and Matrix are under a separate recall due to the airbags potentially deploying without a crash.
Next Steps For Drivers
Toyota and General Motors are advising owners of the affected models to avoid driving these vehicles and instead contact a local dealer for repair options. Dealers are offering various solutions, including mobile repair services, towing the vehicle to a dealership for repair, or vehicle pickup and delivery to facilitate the repair process. Vehicle owners are encouraged to visit NHTSA’s website and enter their 17-digit vehicle identification number to determine if their car is impacted by this recall.
For drivers impacted by Takata airbag injuries, understanding your rights and the steps you can take towards seeking justice is crucial. Deldar Legal offers a team of skilled attorneys specialized in handling cases related to personal injury and product liability, including those arising from defective airbags. If you or someone you know has been affected by a Takata airbag, contact us today!
To learn more about how you can seek compensation for injuries or damages caused by Takata airbag injuries, call us at (844) 335-3271. Our dedicated team is ready to assess your case and help you develop a strong and smart legal strategy.
Posted in: Personal Injury