TORRANCE, CA - Honda has expanded a previously announced recall of certain MY 2001 and 2002 vehicles to replace the driver's air bag inflator. This expansion adds 378,758 U.S. vehicles to the recall, including certain MY 2001 and 2002 Accord, Civic, Odyssey, CR-V, and selected 2002 Acura TL vehicles. 

The driver's air bag inflators in these vehicles may deploy with too much pressure, which can cause the inflator casing to rupture. This could result in injury or fatality. 

To date, Honda said it is aware of 12 incidents related to this issue. 

Honda encourages all affected owners to take their vehicle to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive recall notification from Honda. Notification to customers will start within this month. 

Sixteen months ago, Honda submitted a plan to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall less than 4,000 MY 2001 Accord and Civic vehicles to replace the driver's air bag inflator. The recall was prompted by the company's analysis of four incidents attributed to air bag deployments that resulted in rupture of the driver's air bag inflator. 

After the original recall in November 2008, two additional incidents were reported, including one fatality involving a vehicle not included in that recall. The company studied these incidents and in July 2009 expanded the recall to include approximately 440,000 MY 2001 and 2002 Accord, Civic and certain 2002 Acura TL vehicles. 

If the driver's airbag deploys in an affected vehicle, the driver's air bag inflator could produce excessive internal pressure that may cause the air bag inflator casing to rupture, resulting in metal fragments passing through the airbag cushion material and possibly causing injury or fatality to vehicle occupants. 

There were two types of manufacturing machines used in pressing the inflator propellant. "One propellant manufacturing process allowed us to verify that all of the propellant was within specification, but we cannot validate the other process to our satisfaction at this time," Honda said. "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."