Some engine piston components may be missing or incorrectly installed.
"The piston wrist pin may not be secure and may drift and damage the engine cylinder, causing the engine to seize and increasing the risk of a crash or fire," said NHTSA in its recall summary.
A stop-sale order has been issued until the cars are repaired.
Honda said it has received one report of an engine fire related to the recall and one separate unconfirmed report of a minor injury that did not require medical attention.
No turbocharged engine models are affected by the recall.
Honda dealers will inspect and replace the piston assemblies, if necessary. Owners will be mailed an interim notification beginning on March 15, NHTSA said. Parts are expected to be available this summer.
Owners can contact Honda customer service at 1-800-999-1009.
Edmunds says: Owners of these cars should take their vehicle in for service once they receive the final recall notification. Those with an immediate concern should contact their dealer now.