TOKYO >> Japanese automaker Honda said today it was recalling 37,000 vehicles in the U.S. to check if replacement air bags contain the recalled Takata inflators that may have been installed prior to the massive Takata recalls last year.
Honda Motor Co. said the recall of the front air bag inflator of the 2003 2-door Accord doesn’t affect its vehicles in other regions. No ruptures have been reported.
The inflators made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp. are blamed in at least 16 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide.
The problem set off the biggest recall in U.S. automotive history, involving 42 million vehicles. Globally, the tally is more than 100 million.
The inflators can explode with too much force, sending shrapnel spewing.
The latest recall is unusual in that Honda is trying to find 2,500 inflators that were replaced during repairs, but it doesn’t know where the 2,500 inflators went, so it’s recalling all of the possibly affected vehicles so they can be checked.
In February, Takata pleaded guilty to concealing a deadly defect in millions of its air bag inflators. The company agreed to pay $125 million to individual victims and $850 million to automakers.
Takata’s penalty is small compared with the one imposed on German automaker Volkswagen, which must buy back cars and pay up to $21 billion in the U.S. over its emissions-cheating scandal.
Takata has sunk into red ink over the costs of the recalls, and it faces lawsuits from victims, in addition to the penalties.