Honda adds 4.5 million cars to recalls for Takata airbags

TOKYO (Bloomberg) — Honda Motor Co. added 4.5 million more vehicles to recalls involving Takata Corp. airbags, expanding preventative measures amid a growing toll of motorists injured or killed by the safety devices.

The recall involves 1.63 million vehicles including Fit small cars and CR-V crossovers in Japan, Teruhiko Tatebe, a Honda spokesman, said by phone Thursday.

The automaker is still compiling details on models affected in other markets, he said. North America is not included in this latest recall, Honda said.

The latest recall by Honda is the first under President Takahiro Hachigo, who replaced Takanobu Ito this month after a tenure plagued by quality missteps.

Honda has now called back about 24.5 million vehicles to replace Takata airbags.

The expanding recall toll, which Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. widened last month, shows how carmakers are struggling to come to grips with the extent of Takata’s problems.

Hachigo, 56, this week pledged to improve communication within Honda, downplayed sales targets and said the company had no plans to support Takata.

The carmaker has a 1.2 percent ownership stake in the supplier.

Today’s recall is an expansion of the 4.8 million Honda vehicles affected by a preventative recall on May 14, Takata said.

The company’s airbags can rupture during deployment and spray metal and plastic at passengers.

Separately, Nissan on Wednesday disclosed the first injury related to Takata air bags in Japan.

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