An automaker announcing a recall to fix a “bug” is nothing new. But Mazda Motor Corporation’s recall of vehicles to prevent actual spider infestations is an industry first.
Mazda has announced that it is recalling 65,000 2009-2010 model year Mazda6 mid-size sedans. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “a certain type of spider” may be spinning webs inside the vehicles’ fuel system. The increased pressure caused by the spider webs can potentially cause the vehicles’ fuel tanks to rupture.
The problem was reportedly discovered in 2009 when a Yellow Sac spider was found inside the fuel system of a Mazda6 that had been taken to a dealer to repair a fuel leak. Since then, Mazda dealers have found Yellow Sac spiders in the vent lines of about 19 other Mazda6s.
The vehicles being recalled were built between April 8, 2008 and February 8, 2010 at the Auto Alliance plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. The Auto Alliance plant is a joint venture manufacturing facility owned and operated by Mazda and Ford Motor Company.
The NHTSA said in its summary report that the spider webs can potentially restrict the Mazda6’s fuel system vent line. This can cause the emission control system to increase pressure inside the fuel tank which can lead to cracks and leaks and, potentially, fire.
The NHTSA said that Mazda will clean out any webs in the recalled vehicles, repair any cracks or leaks in the fuel tanks, and install a simple spring device which will prevent the troublesome arachnids from entering the vent lines in the future.
Approximately 50,000 Mazda6s are being recalled in the United States. About 15,000 more are being recalled in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Mazda said it has not received any reports of accidents or fires resulting from the spider infestations.
When asked why Yellow Sac spiders seem to have a preference for the Mazda6, spokesman Jeremy Barnes joked, “Perhaps Yellow Sac spiders like to go zoom-zoom.”
The Mazda6 is the successor of the Mazda 626 and was introduced in the U.S. in 2002.
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