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Takata Airbags: Toyota and GM Recall 61,000 Vehicles

2024 Toyota Tacoma | Photo: Toyota
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Daniel Rufiange
Over the years, Takata airbags have been linked to more than 30 deaths worldwide.
  • Takata Airbags: Toyota and GM Recall 61,000 Vehicles

The year 2024 is barely a month old, and already we're being treated to yet another vehicle recall related to the now infamous Takata airbags. This time, Toyota and General Motors (GM) are recalling 61,000 older vehicles.

In fact, a clarification is in order. As Toyota Canada states, "The current efforts with the 'do not drive' campaign are not a new recall, but a step taken following the numerous communications sent to owners as part of the Takata recall ten years ago. These efforts are being made to reach owners who have not yet had their vehicles repaired".

The recalled models are the Toyota Corolla (2003 and 2004), the Toyota Matrix (2003 and 2004), the Toyota RAV4 (2004 and 2005), and the Pontiac Vibe (2003 and 2004), which was an "American" version of the Matrix. 

Of the 61,000 recalled units, 50,000 bear the Toyota logo and 11,000 bear the logo of the now-defunct Pontiac brand.

In Canada, approximately 7,300 models are affected, including 5,000 Corollas, 1,600 Matrixes and 700 RAV4s.

Takata airbags use volatile ammonium nitrate to trigger a small explosion, but the chemical can deteriorate at high temperatures and high humidity. Since 2009, at least 30 people worldwide have been killed by defective Takata airbags.

When they explode, they send metal shrapnel into the passenger compartment, injuring (sometimes fatally) the occupants. 

Toyota's press release describes this potential situation exactly. And the older the airbags, the greater the risk. RAV4s are equipped with them on the driver's side, while Corollas and Matrixes are equipped with them on the passenger side. 

As a result, the company is asking owners not to drive their vehicles until the problem is resolved.

"Owners MUST NOT DRIVE these vehicles until the FREE safety recall repair has been completed," the company's press release states.

General Motors is asking Pontiac Vibe owners to do the same. 

What we say every time Takata airbags come back into the news is to make sure your vehicle is not equipped with them. The affected models are mostly from the 2000s, but affected vehicles have been seen as late as the mid-2010s. 

If you're not sure, we recommend doing a search on the Internet to see if the model you're driving is equipped with these cursed pillows. 

One thing's for sure, you don't want to drive it if it's still installed.

Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists