TOKYO - Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. expanded its recalls related to defective air bags on Thursday, saying a driver in Malaysia died in an air bag-linked accident earlier this year.
The Japanese automaker, which has reported the biggest number of recalls related to defective air bags, announced recalls of 70,979 more vehicles: 22,607 of its Fit Aria subcompact and 48,190 of its That's model.
The air bags, made by Japanese manufacturer Takata Corp., have faulty inflators that can explode, hurling shrapnel toward drivers and passengers.
Around the world, some 12 million vehicles have been recalled by automakers because of the problem air bags. The recalls involve 10 automakers including Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. and various nations such as Japan, China and European countries. About 8 million of the recalls are in the United States.
A Honda spokeswoman, Misato Fukushima, said the latest death, in July, was thought to have caused by a suspect air bag.
Safety advocates say defective air bags caused four deaths in the U.S.
Takata CEO Shigehisa Takada apologized for the problems with the air bags in a statement issued Thursday, saying his company was determined to prevent further problems.