Toyota Issues Urgent ‘Do Not Drive’ Advisory for 50,000 Vehicles

The safety recall involves certain Toyota Corollas and RAV4s equipped with air bags that could cause serious injury or death if deployed.

Toyota logo on side of building with "Toyota" spelled out in red lettering
(Image credit: Tomohiro Ohsumi, Getty Images)

Toyota is issuing an urgent ‘Do Not Drive’ advisory for about 50,000 vehicles and urging owners to obtain an air bag safety recall repair.

The recall, which is free, affects certain model year 2003 to 2004 Corolla, 2003 to 2004 Corolla Matrix, and 2004 to 2005 RAV4 vehicles nationwide that are equipped with Takata air bags.

“Due to the age of the vehicles, if the air bag deploys, a part inside is more likely to explode and shoot sharp metal fragments which could cause serious injury or death to the driver or passengers,” Toyota said in a statement. “Owners should not drive these vehicles until the free safety recall repair has been conducted.”

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Toyota urges that you call the dealer, not drive

Toyota urges these car owners to contact a local dealer instead of driving the vehicle to the dealership for repairs. The dealers can provide several free repair options such as mobile repair at the vehicle’s current location, towing to the dealership, vehicle pickup and delivery, or other alternate transportation options, Toyota said.

Toyota said it is notifying known owners of affected vehicles every month through a variety of communication channels. Owners can also contact Toyota customer support directly by calling 1-800-331-4331.

How to check for recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website includes a section that spotlights problems with Takata air bags. About 67 million of these air bags have been recalled because they can explode when deployed and cause serious injury or even death, according the the site.

Last November, Toyota recalled 1.85 million RAV4 sports utility vehicles over issues with battery hold-down assembly. This recall affected vehicles in the 2013 to 2018 model years. Under certain conditions, the battery could shift and potentially cause a fire, Toyota said. Toyota said that dealers would replace the battery hold-down clamp, battery tray and positive terminal cover with improved ones at no cost to customers.

Vehicle recalls are common. Manufacturers regularly monitor car safety and functions issues to alert drivers of necessary repairs.

You can check for manufacturer recalls of any models at the NHTSA website.

To check for recalls of any Toyota model, you can also visit the company’s safety recall website.

For both websites, you’ll need to enter your vehicle identification number or license plate information to perform a search.

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Joey Solitro

Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.