Honda says to expand U.S. regional air bag recall to include California

Fri Jul 4, 2014 5:11am EDT
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By Yoko Kubota

TOKYO (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co is expanding to the state of California a U.S. regional recall of vehicles over potentially explosive air bags made by Takata Corp, the automaker said on Friday, after a complaint that said a driver was injured in an accident in the state.

Honda's move takes the regional recall involving the potentially faulty airbags beyond hot and humid southern states and into the nation's most populous state and a major market for automakers.

Honda decided to expand the recall after it was told on June 25 about an accident involving a 2005 model Accord that had taken place in California in May, a spokeswoman said.

According to a complaint filed to U.S. safety regulator the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the air bag in the car shot out "hot metal and plastic shrapnel" after a collision that happened at low speed, leaving the driver with "severe burns, bruises and abrasions on her arms and legs".

"While this case does not match the areas that NHTSA has determined, Honda is adding California into the areas in which it is conducting a regional recall in order to investigate the cause quickly," the Honda spokeswoman said.

It was not immediately clear how many vehicles would be recalled in California. In the regional recall, Honda is pulling back certain vehicles including model years 2001-2007 Accord, 2001-2005 Civic and 2002-2006 CR-V.

A Takata spokeswoman was not able to comment immediately on the matter.

In June, Honda and six other automakers said they were recalling vehicles in some high humidity regions at the request of the NHTSA to see if faulty Takata air bag inflators had been installed in their vehicles.   Continued...

The logo of Honda Motor Co and an airbag logo are seen on a steering wheel of a car displayed at the company's showroom in Tokyo June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino