TOKYO (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co., the automaker most affected by an auto-safety crisis involving Japanese parts maker Takata Corp., said it would upgrade a U.S. airbag repair campaign to a formal recall.
The automaker is elevating its treatment of nine models sold in 13 U.S. states from a safety-improvement campaign, according to a statement on its website. The vehicles involved are some of Honda’s top sellers, including the Accord sedan, Civic compact, CR-V crossover SUV and Odyssey minivan. The number of vehicles affected was not given.
Takata airbags have been linked to four deaths in Honda cars involving inflators that deployed with too much force and shot metal shrapnel at passengers. Class-action lawsuits filed against the auto-parts maker and its customers including Honda allege the airbags also are to blame for at least 139 injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last month called for motorists to quickly get cars fixed in the high-humidity states and U.S. territories where Honda is upgrading to a recall. The agency and Takata are investigating whether poorly sealed inflators’ exposure to moisture is among the problems that have caused air bags to malfunction.
NHTSA has ordered both Honda and Takata to respond to a series of inquiries under oath.