TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Honda Motor Co. told the transport ministry Thursday it is recalling 145,573 of its Vamos, Vamos Hobio and Z passenger cars due to an engine parts defect which could cause 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 fire 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 fire was a case in Miyagi Prefecture in March 2011 and another in Wakayama Prefecture in March last year where fire 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.