Honda recalls 1.39 million cars with passenger-side Takata air bags

A woman using her mobile phone walks past a logo of Honda Motor Co outside the company's dealership in Tokyo October 28, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

DETROIT (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co Ltd on Monday said it will recall 1.39 million Accord and Civic model sedans with potentially faulty front passenger-side air bags made by Japan's Takata Corp.

This will bring to about 2.3 million the number of Accord and Civic sedans with Takata's front passenger-side air bags that have been recalled, the automaker said.

Models affected by the Monday announcement include 2001 to 2005 Civic sedans and 2003 to 2007 Accord sedans sold in the United States.

The Accord and Civic model sedans in this latest recall have already been recalled previously for front driver-side air bags, a Honda spokesman said.

The total number of Honda vehicles recalled, however, did not increase from about 6.3 million as a result of Monday's announcement.

The recall for front driver-side air bags had previously been expanded beyond a regional recall involving states with high humidity. On Monday, the passenger-side air bag recall was expanded to a national scope, Honda said.

As of last week, Honda had replaced 1.99 million inflators in its recalled vehicles. The total number of vehicles in which these inflators were installed was not immediately available.

Some Takata air bags have opened with too much force, sending shrapnel into the vehicle. U.S. safety officials, as well as Takata officials, have said that exposure to humidity over time has been a factor in the erroneous air bag deployments.

Seven people have been killed in Honda cars with Takata air bags, six of them in the United States.

The crash in the most recently reported death, of a 22-year-old woman in Louisiana, occurred two days before a recall notice arrived in the mail from Honda, according to Kenneth St. Pé, the attorney for the woman's family.

Honda said its dealers have been replacing air bag inflators at a rate of 50,000 per week and that the pace will accelerate.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall and Paul Lienert; Editing by Chris Reese, G Crosse and Steve Orlofsky)