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Toyota to 50,000 Older Car Owners: Stop Driving Until Vehicles Fixed

» Posted March 13, 2024Resources | Share This Post

Toyota recently issued a dire warning about faulty airbags in some 50,000 vehicles.

The cars should not hit the road again until the safety devices are fixed or replaced, according to the company. That is because the airbags could explode, sending harmful shrapnel flying inside the cars and increasing the risk of accidents and injuries.

“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 in a notice.

The company is recalling certain 2003-2004 Corolla, 2003-2004 Corolla Matrix, and 2004-2005 RAV4 vehicles as a result of the situation. 

The cars are equipped with defective Takata airbags, which have been known to put lives at risk for nearly a decade. 

Some 100 million malfunctioning Takata airbags have been recalled around the world in the last 10 years. The recall is the largest by far on record in the U.S.

At least 25 people have been killed as a result of the defective airbags. Still, millions of the defective airbags have not been fixed in the U.S. alone, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Takata eventually paid $1 billion to settle a Justice Department probe into claims that it failed to warn consumers of the problem. The company later filed for bankruptcy and was sold.

Safety Risks for Toyota Drivers

This is not the only safety issue for Toyota and the people who drive the automakers' cars.

Late last year, the company announced that it was recalling some 1.8 million RAV4 sport utility vehicles because of a battery defect that could cause the cars to burst into flames. Toyota said at the time that the batteries could shift when making sharp turns, potentially causing a short circuit.

The move came shortly after Toyota said it was calling back more than 800,000 Highlander SUVs for faulty bumper covers. 

Legal Rights for California Car Owners and Lessors

California car owners and lessors have some important rights and protections under the state’s lemon law. Namely, you do not need to wait for a recall to get a defective vehicle fixed.

The lemon law, officially known as the Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, forces automakers to perform a full range of repairs on cars while they are under warranty. It also requires the companies to buy back (or replace, in some cases) vehicles that they are unable to or simply decline to fix. 

There is no specific number of repair requests or attempts that must happen before the buyback or replacement requirement kicks in. An experienced lemon law attorney can help you understand your rights and take action.

Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney

If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.  

Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law attorney.

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Posted By: Sean S