Honda recalls 311,000 of its Pilot SUVs The tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 incongruously affected the company's automakers, prompting Honda, Toyota and Nissan to shutter many of their manufacturing facilities as crews worked to fix damage resulting from the natural disaster.

Though Honda had successfully ratcheted up its manufacturing operations in the wake of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the company was met this week by a fresh setback to its overarching plan to achieve full production capacity.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Honda announced on Monday the recall of 2009-2011 Honda Pilot SUVs. According to Consumer Reports, the recall was prompted by concerns surrounding the sport utility vehicles' front seat belts.

Officials from both the Japan-based automaker and the NHTSA said the stitching used to adhere the front passenger's seat belt to its anchor holding could be either missing or incomplete. A manufacturing defect is responsible for the issue, experts said.

Honda and government officials estimate nearly 311,000 of the vehicles could be affected by the manufacturing issue. The automaker will begin notifying owners on October 3. All repairs will be performed for free, a Honda spokesperson said.

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