Now Honda recalls cars over safety fears

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Honda has become the latest Japanese car manufacturer to launch a massive safety recall, as a further 437,000 of its cars worldwide are called back to dealerships to fix an airbag fault.

The company is replacing the driver's side airbag inflator on some Accords, Civics and CR-Vs because it can cause the airbag to fire with too much pressure, potentially killing the driver as a result.

Honda has known about the problem since 2008, when the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration raised issues with the airbag system while conducting independent tests. Since then, Japan's second biggest manufacturer has recalled close to one million affected cars.

But this latest expansion of the recall shows the problem is more widespread than originally thought. For now the recall won't affect Britain, but Honda models that are also sold here are being called back to dealers in Japan, Canada and America.

Honda admits it is aware of one death that could be linked to the fault, and 11 further incidents resulting in injury, according to reports.

It comes at a time when the public and the media are particularly sensitive to safety recalls from Japanese manufacturers after Toyota announced on Monday that it will recall 440,000 2010 Prius models due to braking faults.