January 30 — Toyota has warned 50,000 vehicle drivers in the United States that they need to get the Takata airbags repaired immediately.
The advisory included 2003, 2004 model year Corollas and Corolla Matrix, as well as 2004, 2005 RAV 4’s. Toyota is telling people with those cars to stop driving immediately.
The airbags could be so old that a part inside could explode, causing serious injury and possibly death.
Thirty people have been killed by Takata airbags malfunctioning, including 26 in the US.
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “This company with the airbag problem is not new. This has been discussed and reported for years. Over the years there have been a number of recalls. I think at some point, some manufacturers even just completely eliminated that supplier for those airbags because they were so dangerous. It’s unclear why this is now coming on to the radar of the government and the Transportation Safety Board for vehicles that are 20 or more years old.”
Would the manufacturers even still have data on the owners of the affected vehicles?
Barkdoll noted, “This would be a case where you may get a notification in the mail, like if it’s a current recall with newer cars, the burden may be on you as the car owner to find your way into the dealership to have that airbag replaced.”
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “That’s a really good point that shouldn’t be lost on that because it could be a private sale or a private sale after two or three or maybe a used car operation fell under the business radar. Where are these cars? Great point.”
Barkdoll said, “I mean 20 year old cars, you can imagine how many transactions and title transfers there have been over the years. So this is going to be a difficult one and that’s why it’s important, people listening if you have one of those cars, don’t sit and wait for a notification in the mail. You need to be proactive to get the car into the dealership.”