The company is Honda Motor Co.'s joint operation in China, which was formed with Dongfeng Motor Group Co.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said the recall affects CR-V vehicles made between March 2010 and August 2012.
In a statement, Dongfeng Honda said the weak piston rods were the fault of the supplier, but the supplier was not named in the statement.
The regulator said the piston rods could break under extreme conditions.
From January through July, Honda sold 367,718 vehicles in China, a 3 percent decline from the same months in 2012.
Political tension between China and Japan over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea that Japan calls the Senkaku Islands and claims as its own, erupted in 2012, sparking widespread anger in China that played out in the marketplace with many consumers boycotting Japanese products.
The Journal said the recall is a setback for Honda, which is trying to make a comeback from a loss of market share attributed to the political dispute.