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Honda adds more vehicles to air bag recall

TOKYO - Honda Motor Co. is adding more than 436,000 vehicles to its 15-month-old global recall for faulty air bags in the latest quality problem to hit a Japanese automaker.

The company will replace the driver's-side air bag inflator in the cars because they can deploy with too much pressure, causing the inflator to rupture and injure or kill the driver.

Honda said it is aware of 12 incidents linked to the problem - one death in May 2009 and 11 injuries. The company said it is not aware of any problems happening after July 2009.

Japan's No. 2 automaker originally announced the recall to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in November 2008, and the total number of vehicles recalled since then is approaching 1 million.

The latest expansion of the air bag recall includes 378,000 cars in the United States, some 41,000 cars in Canada and 17,000 cars in Asia and Australia. The North American recall was announced Tuesday.

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.

"There is a heightened sensitivity right now to anything to do with recalls," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda.

Honda says owners should take their vehicles to dealerships as soon as they are notified by the company in writing.

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