The recall affects 2016 Civics equipped with two-litre four-cylinder engines.
Documents filed by Canadian safety regulators say that a circular clip around the pistons may be missing or was improperly installed at the factory. That can cause a pin on the piston to rub against the engine block and possibly cause engine failure or a fire.
It was unclear if there have been crashes, fires or injuries as a result of the defect.
Dealers will inspect the piston clips and fix them if necessary. In the U.S., dealers can’t sell the affected cars until they are repaired.
The recall covers about 34,000 Civics in the U.S. and almost 10,700 in Canada.
Honda produces the Civic sedan at assembly plants in Alliston, Ont., and Greensburg, Ind.