Honda Extends Record Recall After Reports of Airbag Malfunction

Honda Extends Record Recall After Reports of Airbag MalfunctionHonda Motor Co., the third-largest carmaker in Japan, has broadened its biggest recall in history to address problems associated with airbags in some of the company's most popular models produced as far back as 10 years ago.

According to Bloomberg, the company has extended its recall to include an additional 917,267 vehicles around the world, including the highly popular Civic and Accord vehicles. Honda Spokesman Keitaro Yamamoto stated that the total number of affected vehicles has risen to more than 2.77 million, marking the company's largest recall stemming from an individual defect.

According to Reuters, the latest recall also includes Odyssey minivans and other car models built in 2001 and 2002, with the highest number of cars said to be affected found in the U.S., where 273,000 cars have been targeted for recall. Other countries experiencing the airbag problem include Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Singapore.

Although Yamamoto did not disclose the total international costs to the company, the spokesman stated that the last recall in Japan, in which 2,000 vehicles were said to be affected, cost 14 million yen ($179,740.40).

"Affected driver’s air-bag inflators may deploy with too much pressure, which can cause the inflator casing to rupture and could result in injury or fatality," the company said in a recent statement.

Honda says it first learned of the latest reports of defects after discovering a supplier's handling error that enabled defective inflators to be installed into additional products.

Bloomberg reports more than 90 percent of the affected vehicles are found in the U.S., and also include the 2002 and 2003 CR-V, the 2003 Pilot, the 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL and the 2003 Acura 3.2 CL vehicles.

According to The New York Times, one accident report allegedly caused by the defective airbag resulted in metal shards being forced into the driver. Honda spokesman Chris Martin told the news source that the company was aware of 18 injuries and two fatalities that had been linked to the defect.

One fatality included a high school student who was killed in 2009 during a crash in a parking lot in Midwest City, Oklahoma. Police determined that the airbag had exploded so forcefully that it had sent metal fragments into the student's body.