May 3, 2011 / 11:25 PM / 9 years ago

Honda adds 833,000 vehicles to airbag recall

DETROIT (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co Ltd expanded an earlier recall of Honda and Acura vehicles over airbags that could deploy with too much pressure, causing injuries or fatalities, the company said.

The expanded recall adds more than 833,000 vehicles for the model years 2001 through 2003.

Some of these vehicles contain replacement airbags that could contain the defect. Honda is looking for 2,430 replacement airbags that could contain the defect, but could not locate them all, leading to the large recall.

This is the fourth time Honda has widened its airbag recall. The first recall related to this issue was in 2008.

The number of vehicles affected now stands at 1.65 million, according to figures reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

These additional vehicles were not included in earlier safety recalls because the original airbag modules on the driver’s side were not affected by the issue. But replacement airbags could contain the defect, Honda said.

Honda told safety regulators that just 0.29 percent of the affected vehicles are likely to contain the defect.

In certain vehicles, excess pressure could cause the airbag inflator to rupture. Metal fragments could pass through the airbag cushion material causing injury or even a fatality.

A “small number” of injuries and two fatalities are linked to the airbag recalls, Honda spokeswoman Christina Ra said. These were not recent and did not kick off this move, Ra said.

The recall includes some 2001 and 2002 Accord and Civic sedans, 2002 Odyssey minivans and 2002 and 2003 CR-V crossover vehicles. It also includes 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL and 2003 3.2 CL vehicles.

Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman and Ben Klayman, editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Phil Berlowitz

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