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Honda recalls 304000 cars over air bag defects

The faulty airbags have caused 20 accidents including two deaths in the United States in 2009, Honda said.

Japanese car maker Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC) on Friday announced a recall of close to 304,000 vehicles globally for defective air bag deployment systems.

The move was prompted over concerns that the vehicles’ air bags may inflate under too much pressure in a crash, sending metal and plastic pieces flying, resulting in injuries or deaths.

The problem arose due to the use of wrong material in the chemical used to deploy air bags.

The faulty airbags have caused 20 accidents, including two deaths in the United States in 2009, Honda said.

"The propellant was packed improperly, and that allows the propellant to burn off too quickly and it explodes, and pieces of the casing are causing the injuries," said Chris Martin, a Honda spokesman.

Models and regions affected
The recall encompasses 10 models of the Accord, Civic, Odyssey, Pilot, CR-V, Acura 3.2 TL and Acura 3.2 CL, manufactured in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

The safety recall includes 273,000 vehicles registered in the United States, around 27,000 in Canada, nearly 2,000 vehicles in Japan and another 2,000 in other countries.

It also includes 359 vehicles in Europe, 200 in Germany, 158 in Israel and one in Britain, according to Honda.

"The propellant was packed improperly, and that allows the propellant to burn off too quickly and it explodes, and pieces of the casing are causing the injuries.” --Chris Martin, Honda spokesman

Additionally, Honda has added another 603,000 vehicles to the recall plan for an inspection of faulty parts.

Honda said in an official statement, “Because Honda is unable to determine the specific vehicles that may have received the affected service parts through existing information, Honda will inspect an additional 603,000 vehicles and replace those parts as necessary.”

The automaker intends to inform the affected owners through mailed notifications later this month to bring their vehicles to an authorized dealership for inspection.

Honda owners can also go to www.recalls.honda.com or call (800) 999-1009 and Acura owners can go to www.recalls.acura.com or call (800) 382-2238 to get more information.

Recalling woes
Recalling cars in not a new practice for the Japanese automaker! The latest recall is the sixth for the same air bag problem since 2008, bringing the total number of cars recalled to nearly 2 million.

Honda pulled back nearly 700,000 cars earlier this year in Asia and North America over issues with stalling engines. In September, the carmaker had recalled more than 300,000 Pilot sport-utility vehicles for seat belt stitching problem.