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Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) is advising U.S. owners to keep passengers out of the front seats of several models until dealers can repair defective air bags, four months after taking similar actions in Japan.

Toyota issued the public warning as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stepped up efforts to reach at least 4.7 million motorists driving with potentially faulty air bags. The carmaker yesterday added to its air-bag recalls for the second time since June, when the company joined Honda Motor Co. (7267), Nissan Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. in instructing dealers in Japan to disable passenger-side air bags and tell owners to prohibit passengers from sitting in the front seat.

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