Honda recalls 304,000 vehicles
Honda Motor Co is recalling 304,000 vehicles globally for air bags that may inflate with too much pressure in a crash, send metal and plastic pieces flying and cause injuries or deaths.
Honda said there have been 20 accidents so far related to the problem, including two deaths in the US in 2009.
The Japanese automaker announced the recall on Friday, which affects the Accord, Civic, Odyssey, Pilot, CR-V and other models manufactured in 2001 and 2002.
The recall spans 273,000 vehicles in the US, some 27,000 in Canada, nearly 2,000 vehicles in Japan and another 2,000 in other countries. It affects 359 vehicles in Europe -- 200 in Germany, 158 in Israel and one in Britain, according to Honda.
The latest recall is an expansion of recalls for the same problem in 2008, and again carried out in 2009, as well as last year. It now covers about 2 million vehicles worldwide, according to Tokyo-based Honda.
Honda spokesman Hajime Kaneko said the cause for the latest recall was the use of incorrect material in the chemical used to deploy the air bags.
The initial cause of the recall was excessive moisture in the inflator propellant, which is part of what inflates the air bag.
But that problem was found later to affect more vehicles than initially estimated, as incidents didn't stop, and the recall was expanded to account for the possibility that the problem was caused by a defective stamping machine used during production, he said.
He said Honda is extremely sorry about the recalls.