Honda recalls 440,000 US vehicles

CHICAGO: Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. has recalled 440,000 vehicles in the United States due to a defect in the airbag that killed one person and injured six others.

"In some vehicles, airbag inflators can produce over-pressurization of the driver's (front) airbag inflator mechanism during airbag deployment," Honda said in a statement on Friday.

"If an affected inflator deploys, the increased internal pressure may cause the inflator casing to rupture.

"Metal fragments could pass through the cloth airbag cushion material, possibly causing an injury or fatality to vehicle occupants."

Honda said it was expanding an existing recall of 4,600 vehicles initiated in November on 2001 Honda Accords and Civics.

It will contact customers to arrange a time to replace the driver's steering-wheel-mounted airbag inflator without charge.