PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Toyota and General Motors are issuing an urgent "do not drive" warning for tens of thousands of vehicle owners. The warning involves about 61,000 older vehicles and the owners are being told to keep them parked and contact their dealer immediately.
"So this is part of a broader recall of Takata airbags, which affects millions and millions of vehicles. But a certain subset of those airbags are more dangerous than others," said Keith Barry, Senior Auto Reporter of Consumer Reports
The newest warning covers certain Toyota Corolla compact cars and Matrix hatchbacks from the 2003 and 2004 models years as well as the RAV4 small SUV from 2004 and 2005. Thousands of GM Pontiac Vibes from 2003 and 2004 are also under the recall.
The Takata airbags in those vehicles are more likely to explode and shoot sharp metal fragments toward the people inside.
"Already there have been 26 people killed from these faulty airbags," said Barry. "And the older that these airbags get, the more likely it is to happen."
The recalled RAV4s have Takata airbags on the driver's side the Corolla and Matrix models have them on the passenger side.
"You know, the original recall is many years old, so some of these vehicles, the owners have received notice after notice after notice saying they need to get their car fixed and haven't done so," said Barry.
There are many reasons owners may not have received the notice - perhaps they moved or they're not the original owner. Whatever the reason, Toyota and GM say there is no time to waste.
"Don't even drive the car to us. Don't get behind the wheel. It's too dangerous if something went wrong," warns Barry.
Owners can go to nhtsa.gov/recalls and enter their 17-digit VIN to see if their cars are affected.
Then, contact your local dealer for options like mobile repair, a tow from the car to a dealer, or vehicle pickup and delivery.