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Honda adds 1 million California cars to Takata airbag recall

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Gene J. Puskar/AP/File

(Read caption) A Honda logo on the grill of a Honda automobile at the 2013 Pittsburgh Auto Show in Pittsburgh. Honda is recalling 1 million cars in California with Takata airbags.

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Today, Brazil's World Cup team is no doubt feeling down in the dumps. But if you're reading this, guys, take heart: it could be worse. You could work for Takata.

Takata's faulty airbags have been responsible for over 11 million vehicle recalls -- and the list is still growing. In fact, it's now ballooned to at least 12 million, thanks to an expanded recall from Honda.

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As you might recall, the reason for these massive, worldwide recalls is rooted in a problem with the propellant Takata used to make airbag systems in the earlier part of this century. That propellant can cause airbags to rupture and explode. In some cases, those explosions have sent shrapnel flying through the cabin. To date, there have been at least two such incidents reported in Japan and six in the US, with two deaths linked to the flaw.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation of the airbags, which were used by most major automakers. Though that probe is still ongoing, it's believed that high humidity has been a determining factor in making the airbags explode.

A few weeks ago, Honda recalled 2.03 million Honda and Acura vehicles, 1.02 million of which were registered in the US. At the time, those recalls were limited to vehicles that had ever been sold or registered in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Now, California has been added to the list. And that boosts the recall roll book by about 1 million Honda and Acura vehicles.

To recap, the affected models are:

  • 2003-2006 Acura MDX
  • 2005 Acura RL
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL/CL
  • 2001-2007 Honda Accord (4-cylinder)
  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord (V6) 
  • 2001-2005 Honda Civic
  • 2002-2006 Honda CR-V
  • 2003-2011 Honda Element
  • 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003-2007 Honda Pilot
  • 2006 Honda Ridgeline

Honda should have already sent out notices to owners about the first batch of recalls. The automaker hasn't said when it will notify Californians (or owners of vehicles that might've once been registered in California). Given the severity of the problem, though, we'd expect that to happen soon.

If you own one of the models listed above and have questions, we encourage you to contact Honda at 800-999-1009. Alternately, you can call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and ask about recall #14V351000.