It seems that recalls are on the rise. Perhaps that is because automakers are more cautious to ensure their vehicles are safe, or that the media is covering more of them. Regardless, it seems like every week there is a new recall to cover– but this might be a first (or second). Mazda has recalled 42,000 Mazda6’s due to gas-sniffing spiders?!
According to AutoExpress, the yellow sac spider is drawn to the smell of gasoline. Once in the car, they could build webs in the engine and engine bay, which could cause an air blockage, or even a fire.
Mazda delivered a set of documents to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that explains the problem in the following terms:
“A certain type of spider may weave a web in the evaporative canister vent line, potentially causing a restriction in the line. If this occurs, the fuel tank pressure may become excessively negative when the emission control system works to purge the vapors from the canister. As the canister is purged repeatedly during normal operation, the stress on the fuel tank may eventually result in a crack, potentially leading to fuel leakage and an increased risk of fire.”
At the end of this month, the recall will begin on 2010 to 2012 Mazda6’s. Though no cases of car fires have been reported, Mazda has observed this spider issue in previous models. Mazda recalled 52,000 Mazda5’s in 2011 for this very issue, which was (mostly) rectified by the application of a fitting that would keep the spiders out. Still, some managed to get in. It is understood that these recalled vehicles would receive a similar form of engine cover.