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Honda recalls 1.2 million Accord vehicles because batteries can catch fire

A 2014 Honda Accord.
A 2014 Honda Accord. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Honda has confirmed it’s recalling 1.2 million Accord midsize cars because battery sensors can potentially short out and catch fire.

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This recall will cover Accords from the 2013 to 2016 model years. Honda says it has four reports of engine compartment fires because of this issue but has not confirmed any injuries. All the fires reportedly took place in states where salt is used to clean roads in the winter.

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The company says the sensors on the negative terminal of the battery aren’t adequately sealed off from moisture, allowing road salt to get in and cause corrosion and an electrical short. When heated, a shorted sensor can possibly catch fire.

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As part of the recall, dealers will inspect the sensors and faulty ones will be replaced. Those vehicles without problems will receive an adhesive sealant and sensors will be replaced when parts are available.

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This revelation comes as the automaker confirms the 11th American death involving one of its vehicles tied to a faulty Takata Corp air bag inflator. The Japanese automaker said the incident occurred in June 2016 in Florida when an individual was working on repairs on a 2001 Honda Accord and the airbag ruptured.

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At least 17 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide are now tied to the defect that prompted the largest-ever auto safety recall and led Takata to file for bankruptcy protection last month. Takata inflators can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks.

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The Honda Accord was one of more than 300,000 unrepaired recalled Honda vehicles equipped with inflators with a substantial risk of rupturing. 

—With files from The Associated Press and Reuters. 

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