Honda is recalling 304,000 vehicles worldwide – most in the U.S. – due to a problem with overactive airbags linked to several deaths and a number of injuries.
The move is the latest to deal with a problem that first forced the maker to act in 2008 and again in each of the following years, now collectively involving the recall of about 2 million vehicles.
The problem initially appeared to be related to the use of the wrong chemical for the airbag igniter.
In an accident serious enough to require a vehicle’s bags to inflate an electrical signal is sent to the igniter which explodes, filling the airbag with hot gases and providing a cushion that normally is meant to reduce the likelihood of death or injuries. But with the defective airbags they may inflate too aggressively, causing their own injuries.
A subsequent investigation uncovered an additional problem related to a defective stamping press used during production.
Safety regulators have so far identified 20 accidents related to the problem resulting in injuries and at least two deaths in the U.S.
The latest recall affects 273,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. and 27,000 sold in Canada, with the rest spread out among Japan, Europe and other parts of the world.
The vehicles included in the recall range from the small Civic sedan to the big Odyssey minivan, all produced in 2001 and 2002.
Nearly 1,000 of the vehicles covered by the recall were equipped with replacement airbags installed after a previous collision.
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