Honda recalls 175,000 hybrids in Japan due to software glitch

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TOKYO (Reuters) -- Honda Motor Co. is recalling 175,356 gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles in Japan, including the Fit subcompact, over a software glitch in the engine control unit.

Honda is recalling all of the third-generation Fit hybrid as well as the new Vezel subcompact SUV hybrid, both of which went on sale last year and are sold only in Japan, the automaker said.

This is the fourth time that Honda, which is also embroiled in a series of recalls over airbags made by Takata Corp., is recalling the hybrid version of the third-generation Fit since it went on sale last September in Japan.

Due to a software programming glitch in the engine control unit, the vehicles are at risk of moving or speeding abruptly, Honda said. Eleven accidents were reported but there have been no reports of injuries or deaths, it said.

Honda said the software fix will take about ninety minutes.

Prior to this recall, Honda announced three recalls for the Fit hybrid -- in October and December 2013 as well as in February -- over dual clutch transmission glitches.

Fit outsold all cars in Japan this year except Toyota Motor Corp.’s Aqua hybrid, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

Fit deliveries rose 69 percent to 121,764 units in the first six months, with about two-thirds of them being hybrids.

Honda began shipping the new Fit to U.S. dealerships from a newly built plant in Mexico in June. 

Sales of the hybrid versions of the Fit and Vezel haven’t started outside Japan.

Bloomberg contributed to this report.

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