Honda recall airbags: Recall expands to another 438,000 vehicles

After two previous recalls for the same problem, the expanded Honda recall for airbags is the latest in the troubles affecting Japanese automakers.

Honda's airbag recall will affect nearly half a million later-model vehicles.

It's Honda's second turn on the recall merry-go-round. After recalling 646,000 Honda Fit models less than two weeks ago, the automaker announced the expansion of an airbag recall to 438,000 new vehicles on Wednesday.

Affected vehicles include some 2001 and 2002 Accord, Civic, Odyssey, and CR-V models, as well as 2002 Acura TL models. One Honda Pilot and one Acura CL vehicle (yes, one vehicle for each model), produced in late 2002, are also included.

The problem stems from the vehicles' airbag inflators, which can place too great a force on the airbag when put into use, fracturing the inflator and causing metal shards that have resulted in 12 incidents, including one fatality.

This recall comes after two previous recalls for the same defect, one in November 2008 and one in July 2009.

Wondering if your car is affected? Honda owners can check their cars' status online or call (800) 999-1009; Acura owners can also check online or call (800) 382-2238.

Honda says that of the two processes used to create the airbags, only one could verify the correct amount of pressure within the airbag.

"We have decided to recall all inflator assemblies that were not confirmed by 100-percent automatic inspection during production because we cannot be absolutely certain they will all perform as designed, even though recent testing of units from this production process performed correctly," according to the release.

If there was ever a time to announce a recall, this is probably it: Fellow Japanese automaker Toyota is facing multiple National Highway Transportation Safety Administration investigations regarding three rounds of recalled cars, ensnaring millions of vehicles.

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