Daewoo recalls 70,000 1998 Lanos sedans in U.S.

DETROIT, May 22 Reuters is reporting that Korean automaker Daewoo Motor Co. is recalling about 70,000 of its 1998 Lanos sedans in the United States to replace front passenger-side air bag covers that are too hard and could cause head injuries, federal officials said on Wednesday.

The current passenger-side air bag cover does not meet federal safety regulations, because in the event of a crash in which the air bags do not inflate, the hard surface of the covers could cause head injuries, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

Daewoo's U.S. dealers will install new softer air bag covers for the passenger-side air bag, the NHTSA said.

Last week, Daewoo Motor America filed for bankruptcy protection, more than three-and-a-half years after it began selling cars in the United States. The bankruptcy follows Daewoo Motor America's exclusion from the list of Daewoo assets bought by General Motors Corp. and other investors to form a new Korean automaker.

Daewoo Motor America has said it will honor warranties until the asset sale to GM and its partners closes. After that, GM will form a new company that will make provisions to honor warranty claims for the approximately 170,000 Daewoo cars in operation in the U.S.

Also on Wednesday, the NHTSA said that Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (Tokyo:7267.T - News) has recalled about 25,000 2000 Acura 3.5RL sedans due to the possibility of a brake light malfunction, which raises the risk of a crash.

During the manufacturing process, oil was applied to the car's brake pedals to prevent rust. That oil could leak into the brake electrical components and cause the brake lights to fail to illuminate, the NHTSA said.

Owners will be notified next month to take their vehicles to Acura dealers, who will clean the brake parts of excess oil and replace the brake stop electrical switch, the NHTSA said.

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