TOKYO — Honda Motor Co. is adding 437,000 vehicles to its 15-month old global recall for faulty airbags in the latest quality problem to hit a Japanese automaker.
The company will replace the driver's side air bag inflator on the cars because they can deploy with too much pressure, causing the inflator to rupture and injure or kill the driver.
Japan's No. 2 automaker originally announced the recall to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in November 2008. The total number vehicles recalled since then is approaching 1 million.
The latest expansion of the airbag recall includes 378,000 cars in the U.S., some 41,000 cars in Canada and 17,000 cars in Japan, Australia and elsewhere in Asia.
Honda's announcement comes at a time of increased attention on automotive recalls. Though the problems are unrelated, rival Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling more than 8 million cars and trucks due to faulty gas pedals. On Tuesday, Toyota said it would recall more than 440,000 of its flagship 2010 Prius and other hybrids due to a braking glitch.
"There is a heightened sensitivity right now to anything to do with recalls," said John Mendel, executive vice president for sales at American Honda.
The recall now affects 952,118 vehicles, including certain 2001 and 2002 Accord sedans, Civic compacts, Odyssey minivans, CR-V small sport utility vehicles and some 2002 Acura TL sedans.
Honda said it is aware of 12 incidents linked to the problem — one death in May 2009 and 11 injuries.