Toyota warns 7,300 Canadians to stop driving and get repairs immediately

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Toyota Motor Corp. is urging owners of certain older vehicle models to stop driving and seek repairs immediately, as an airbag inflator could explode and potentially kill motorists.

The Japanese automaker said the “Do Not Drive” advisory covers certain model year 2003-04 Corollas, 2003-04 Corolla Matrix and 2004-05 RAV4s equipped with Takata airbag inflators.

Toyota Canada spokesperson Philippe Crowe said the airbag warning is not new, but the company is taking the step to warn drivers who have not yet responded to the Takata recall from 2015.

“The Stop Driving Notice is sent to vehicle owners who, after numerous attempts to communicate, have not had the recall procedure completed on their vehicle,” he said in an email .

Crowe said the Canadian recall affects 7,300 vehicles in Canada and owners of affected vehicles can contact a Toyota dealership to have the recall process completed free of charge.

Owners who think their vehicle might be included can check the website.

More than 30 deaths worldwide and hundreds of injuries in vehicles since 2009 have been linked to Takata airbag inflators that can explode, releasing shards of metal inside cars and trucks.

In 2015, Takata Corp. agreed to declare 33.8 million airbags defective in the largest automotive recall in history. At the time, eleven automakers, including Honda and Toyota, recalled 36 million vehicles worldwide.

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