Honda Motor Co said it is recalling more than 300,000 units of its 2001 U.S.-built Accord and Civic cars in the United States and Canada to fix a defective airbag that deployed in a fatal accident.

The airbag contains a defective inflator that could produce excessive pressure, causing metal fragments to pass through the fabric and possibly injure the occupants, Honda said.

One driver was reported to have died in an accident in which the airbag deployed, but the cause of death is still under investigation, a Honda spokeswoman said.

Subject to the recall so far are 285,000 Accord and Civic cars in the United States and 21,000 units in Canada. Honda said on Wednesday its U.S. manufacturing arm was also recalling a combined 1,500 units of the Inspire and Saber models exported to Japan containing the same airbags.

The recall would cost 30 million yen ($317,000) in Japan, a Honda spokesman said. No accident has been reported in Japan.

Honda is currently investigating what other models may need to be recalled. The airbags, made by Japan's Takata Corp, are also used for vehicles produced in Japan and Canada and exported to various markets, the spokeswoman said.

Takata has not sold the same airbag to another company, a Takata spokesman said. (Reporting by Yumiko Nishitani and Chang-Ran Kim)