Spiders Invade Mazda 6 Sedans, Causing Massive Recall

It’s finally happening. The nightmares of the arachnophobic are coming true: the spiders are taking over; well, they’re starting to at least. Yellow sac spiders – small, pale, translucent creatures – have been found to cause engine malfunctions in certain Mazda vehicles, creating fire and other safety risks. Mazda has responded to the problem by recalling some 42,000 Mazda 6 vehicles sold between 2010 and 2012.

Certain yellow sac spiders have an affinity for the strong fumes of gasoline (actually the volatile organic compounds in the gasoline itself), which draw them into the inner workings of the engine. Once inside, they set up shop, weave webs, reproduce, and generally gum up the works.

If enough web and other spider debris builds up, Mazda tells consumers that it can cause excessive pressure in the Mazda 6 fuel system, increasing fire risk and possibly causing fuel leaks.

Mazda representative Jeremy Barnes explained the problem during a CNN interview:

“The yellow sac spider is attracted to the hydrocarbons in gasoline and can find its way into a fuel tank hose. There, it may weave a web that blocks airflow. That could cause the fuel tank to crack and, possibly, cause a fire. Mazda said it is not aware of any fires due to this issue. Mazda designed a special spring to prevent the spiders from getting in. But sometimes the spiders find a way, so it also designed a software fix to alleviate pressure on the fuel tank and prevent the cracking.

Judging from his statement, it appears that Barnes is admitting defeat to the spiders. Instead of trying to rid them from the engine, Mazda is going to release a software update for each vehicle’s internal computer that will warn drivers if a spider problem presents itself.

Unfortunately for Mazda, the yellow sac spider has a very discerning taste in automobiles. As a result, they seem to only be attracted to Mazda vehicles, despite the fact that all other makes and models contain very similar hardware.

In fact, Mazda had this same problem back in 2011. Except 65,000 Mazda 6 vehicles were recalled that time. In response, engineers installed a small spring in affected vehicles, hoping to deter the spiders. Clearly, that strategy was ineffective.

The mystery remains as to why the yellow sac spider has such a strong attraction to Mazda 6 sedans. In 2011, after the first recall, spokesman Barnes was stumped.

“It’s unclear why this particular spider — the yellow sac spider — seems to prefer the model year 2009 and 2010 Mazda 6,” company spokesman Jeremy Barnes said. “All modern cars have the same type of equipment. Maybe they just like cars that go Zoom-Zoom,” he said during another CNN interview. “We honestly don’t know.”

About author:

Gail Watkins, an avid writer for HR Owen, is a car fanatic; a good car fanatic. If there’s a show, Formula 1 or special exhibit in a showroom, Gail is sure to be present. When not ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ over cars, Gail enjoys hiking. Her dream vacation is an extended hike in Peru.


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