American Honda Motor Co. said yesterday it will recall 178,000 Accord cars to replace an electrical cable between the alternator and the battery.

Also yesterday, Volvo of America Corp. recalled 7,390 1985-model Volvos to replace a defective water pump pulley.

The cable is too small to handle maximum current, which could cause the battery to run down and the car to stop, Honda said.

Honda said it notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it is making the recall voluntarily.

The repair will be performed free of charge at authorized Honda dealers, the company said.

No accidents or injuries have been reported because of the problem, the company said.

Volvo, meanwhile, said certain 740 GLE, 740 Turbo and 760 Turbo models have pulleys that could disintegrate while the engine is in operation. The pulley can be thrown around the engine compartment knocking out the car's power steering.

Volvo of America said that it knew of no injuries or accidents resulting from the problem, but that 21 failures have been reported.

Volvo strongly advises against running the engine with the hood open until the car has been checked and serviced.

Owners of the affected vehicles will be notified by mail to return to their dealers to have the pulley replaced at no charge, Volvo said.