Japanese automaker Honda Motor said Thursday it would recall 341,000 Accord sedans in the U.S. to replace an electrical control unit that is used to control the release of air bags in case of a crash. The recall would mostly affect models made in 2008-2010, the company said, Reuters reported.
Honda confirmed two injuries linked to the faulty electrical unit and said that moisture could cause the unit to malfunction that could result in air bags not deploying during a crash.
Honda is currently caught up in a separate, but much larger recall due to long-term partner Takata’s defective air bags, which have been linked to at least 10 deaths in the U.S. — of which nine incidents occurred in a Honda vehicle. The company announced Wednesday that it is expanding its recall in North America of vehicles equipped with potentially defective Takata air bags, adding 2.23 million vehicles, bringing the total to 8.51 million Honda and Acura vehicles in the United States. Honda's recall forms a third of the total recalls related to Takata air bags made by different automakers.
Fourteen automakers have recalled about 24 million vehicles containing Takata’s air bags to replace an inflator — a metal casing that contains explosives to inflate the air bag. The explosive, which has a volatile compound called ammonium nitrate, can decay overtime and explode with excessive force, sending metal shrapnel at high speeds through the air bag and into the cabin of the car.
According to investigations by global watchdogs, Honda and Takata have been aware of the defect since at least 2004, when an air bag ruptured in a 2002 Honda Accord, but executives from both the companies dismissed it as a one-off incident.
U.S. highway safety regulator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in November imposed a $70 million penalty on Takata, the largest such penalty imposed by the organization.