Mazda Motor Corp. recently jumped aboard the recall bandwagon, joining other major car manufacturers such as Toyota and General Motors. Mazda's recall, however, does not involve mechanical failure or faulty design, but rather an infestation of arachnids. As strange as it sounds, spider nests lodged in the fuel tank system have caused the Japanese carmaker to recall approximately 65,000 cars.
Mazda officials confirmed that they found spider nests in the rubber hosing which forms a vital part of a car's fuel tank system. The car company released a statement linking the spider infestation to pressurization and ventilation problems which could cause the car to catch fire. If a car were to catch fire during operation, the explosion could easily result in at least one fatal accident.
Researchers have yet to determine why Mazda models appear to be particularly attractive to the invasive spiders. The spiders themselves have been identified as the yellow sac spider, which are known to be slightly venomous.
Mazda investigators have also not released any official theories regarding how the infestation occurred, but one North American spokesperson speculated that the insects might be accessing the fuel tank hosing through the gas cap. An entomologist at the University of California Riverside also speculated that the spiders entered the tubes at the warehouse prior to construction.
The company is only recalling Mazda6 models released in the past two years within North American countries. The recall was issued after 20 instances of this unusual problem were indentified in dealerships nationwide.
Mazda was happy to report that-to their knowledge-the infestation has caused no serious injury to either drivers or the technicians responsible for removing the venomous spiders from the recalled models. The company is fortunate to have identified this problem before clogged fuel tank hoses allowed disastrous and tragic fires to injure North American drivers.
Source: LA Times, "Spiders may have entered Mazda cars before assembly, expert says. "Jerry Hirsch and Tiffany Hsu, 5 March 2011