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Honda recalls 145,573 vehicles over fire-prone defect

Kyodo

Honda Motor Co. told the transport ministry Thursday it is recalling 145,573 of its Vamos, Vamos Hobio and Z cars due to an engine parts defect that could cause a fire.

Subject to the recall are vehicles of those three models produced between October 1998 and August 2010.

The recall is in response to nine cases of fires that broke out around the vehicles’ exhaust pipes between January 2009 and last June, the transport ministry said.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, a rubber seal deteriorated, allowing oil to leak in some vehicles.

Leaked oil accumulated in the metal cover of the exhaust pipe, where heat caused it to smolder and even catch fire.

Among the nine reported fires was a case in Miyagi Prefecture in March 2011 and another in Wakayama Prefecture in March last year where fires damaged both the exhaust pipe and the wiring around it, the ministry said. No injuries were reported in either case.

In response to these incidents, Honda decided to recall the vehicles after consulting with the ministry in February.