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Honda's profit drops on air bag recall expenses, flat sales

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In this Jan. 11, 2016, file photo, the logo of Honda Motor Co. is seen on a showroom screen at the Japanese automaker's headquarters in Tokyo. The Japanese automaker reported a 71 percent decline in fiscal third-quarter profit as air-bag recalls and flat vehicle sales eroded the benefits of cost cuts. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama, File)

Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co.'s fiscal third-quarter profit fell 71 percent from a year earlier as air-bag recalls and flat vehicle sales offset gains from cost cuts, the company said Friday.

Tokyo-based Honda's October-December profit totaled 168 billion yen ($1.5 billion), down from 570.3 billion yen a year earlier. Quarterly sales were unchanged at 3.9 trillion yen ($36 billion).

Honda has suffered from a massive global recall of Takata air bags whose inflators can explode with too much force, hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 23 people have died from the problem worldwide and hundreds have been injured.


Honda, which makes the Accord sedan, Odyssey minvan and Asimo robot, said it is facing various class action lawsuits in the U.S. related to the air bags.

Honda said its settlements for April-December totaled 53.8 billion yen ($493 million) and that it may face more such expenses.

Honda said motorcycle sales improved in Vietnam and it also recorded better sales in its financial services business.

Honda raised its profit forecast for the current fiscal year, which ends March 31, by 20 billion yen ($183 million) from an earlier projection, to 695 billion yen ($6.4 billion). That's down 34 percent from the previous fiscal year.

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