Toyota issued a "do not drive" advisory for about 50,000 vehicles in the U.S. after certain air bags in the vehicles were recalled due to a part inside that could explode once deployed, causing the risk of injury or death.
The affected models include certain model year 2003-2004 Corolla, 2003-2004 Corolla Matrix, and model year 2004-2005 RAV4 vehicles with Takata air bags, the company said in a Jan. 25 statement.
"Due to the age of the vehicles, if the airbag 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. "Owners should not drive these vehicles until the free safety recall repair has been conducted."
More than 30 deaths worldwide in various automakers' vehicles have been linked to Takata air bag inflators since 2009, Reuters reported. More than 67 million Takata air bag inflators have been recalled in the U.S. over the past decade by more than 20 automakers, according to Reuters.
Affected Toyota vehicle owners should contact their local dealership about options to repair or replace the air bags for free, instead of driving their vehicle to be repaired, according to Toyota.
Dealerships can offer options such as "mobile repair at the vehicle’s location, towing to the dealership, vehicle pickup and delivery, or other alternate transportation options," Toyota said.
To see if a vehicle is affected, drivers can enter the vehicle identification number or license plate information on Toyota's recall website, or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.