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Honda to recall more than 500,000 cars in China due to Takata air bags

Chinese authorities said on Tuesday that Honda Motor and its two joint ventures in China would recall 569,769 cars due to potentially defective air bags which the carmaker said were made by Japan's Takata.

Close to 20 million vehicles have been recalled globally by automakers since 2008 for defective Takata inflators, which have been linked to five deaths. Honda, Takata's biggest customer, alone has recalled 13.4 million cars, primarily in the United States.

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GAC-Honda, the joint venture between Honda and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd, announced a recall of 527,136 Accord cars manufactured between May 17, 2002 and Dec. 25, 2007 because of defective air bags on the driver's side, China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said in a statement on its website.

A man arranges airbag cushions at a plant for Japanese car parts maker Takata Corp.
Mihai Barbu | Reuters
A man arranges airbag cushions at a plant for Japanese car parts maker Takata Corp.

A Beijing-based Honda spokesman told Reuters that the recalls were due to "potentially defective" air bags from Takata Corp. He added that there has been no injuries or malfunctions reported in the country so far.

China's quality watchdog did not specify the make of the airbags.

GAC-Honda will also recall 16,505 Fit Saloon cars manufactured between Oct. 30, 2002 and Dec. 30, 2003, AQSIQ said.

Dongfeng-Honda, the joint venture between Honda and Dongfeng Motor, will recall 26,128 Elysion MPVs manufactured between June 4, 2012 and June 17, 2014 due to defective air bags on the driver's side, according to China's quality watchdog. The recall will start on Feb. 28, 2015.

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The regulator said the recalls were due to potential damaged airbags that could cause "shell fragments to fly".

"This may hurt passengers in the car and there are risks to safety," the regulator said.

U.S. regulators last month ordered Takata to move forward with a nationwide expansion of the regional recall, but Takata has refused, effectively putting the onus for voluntary recalls on the car makers.