Honda said it found 126 airbag deployments in non-crash situations for frontal, side impact and/or side curtain air bag deployments across four models and 800,000 vehicles, NHTSA said, but no more than 25 of those are from frontal airbags.
Airbag problems are a serious embarrassment for Honda – complicating the fact that the maker already is on record as having one of the highest recall totals of any maker operating in the U.S. in recent years.
The last Honda recall involved approximately 426,000 subcompact Civic models sold during the 2001 to 2003 model-years, 43,000 CR-V crossovers offered in 2002 and 2003, and another 92,000 Odyssey minivans from the 2002 model-year.
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Additionally, the Japanese maker ordered the recall of 748,000 Pilot crossovers and Odyssey minivans in January due to missing rivets that could cause airbags to improperly deploy in an accident. It has experienced a number of earlier recalls for other airbag-related problems that have now added up to millions of vehicles.
While Honda's name seems to be most often tied to airbag investigations and recalls, the maker is not alone. Earlier this month, GM began investigating 400,000 additional vehicles for defective airbags.
Agency investigators are already determining if GM went far enough in issuing two small recalls for airbag problems in October 2012 and January 2013 regarding a defect in electrical connectors for the driver's front air bag in certain 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic and Camaro models as well as Buick Verano vehicles that could prevent the air bag from deploying in a crash.
GM recalled about 7,000 cars, but now NHTSA is investigating whether 400,000 2012 Chevrolet Camaros, Cruzes and Sonics and Buick Veranos should be included.
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The Detroit-based automaker initially issued a service bulletin in August to address the airbag defect in 2012 Cruze and Verano vehicles built before June 21, 2012. After talks with NHTSA, GM decided to address the issue as a safety recall covering about 3,000 2012 Cruze, Verano and Sonic vehicles built from April 2, 2012 to June 29, 2012.
After further analysis and discussion with NHTSA, GM conducted a second recall covering about 3,900 2012 Cruze, Verano, Sonic and Camaro vehicles built from Dec. 16, 2011 to Feb. 1, 2012.
-By CNBC Contributor Paul Eisenstein; Follow him on Twitter @DetroitBureau