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MacNut
Mar 4, 2011, 04:27 PM
A tiny spider species has triggered a Mazda recall - and there's nothing itsy-bitsy about it.

The yellow sac spider has been nesting in the fuel hoses of certain Mazda6 cars, causing clogs that could lead to fuel leaks and fires.

Mazda announced Friday that it was recalling more than 65,000 cars in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to address the puzzling problem.

The spider is a common household insect but employees of the Japanese automaker are clueless as to why the tiny arachnids chose their brand.

"We really don't know how they're getting in," said Mazda spokesman Jeremy Barnes. "This is a really strange case."

One floated theory is that the spiders are attracted to the smell of gasoline, but though that explanation gets chuckles, bug experts say there is not much science behind it.

"I think gas would kill them if they came in contact with it, and if they were attracted to it we would have found out years ago," said Rick Vetter, a Long Island native and University of California, Riverside researcher who is one of the nation's most prominent entomologists

"I do a lot of myth busting regarding spiders, and it's really amazing the amount of insanity that gets generated about these things," he said.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln entomologist Barb Ogg agrees.

"It doesn't make any sense to me. They like to spend their time in little tight spaces, so I think it's more likely related to how [the fuel system] constructed," she said.

The spiders have been weaving small sacs in rubber hoses attached to the cars' fuel tank system, blocking ventilation and causing pressure that could lead to cracks, gas leaks and in the worst-case scenario a fire.

The company reports there have been no serious incidents related to the bizarre spider infestations.

It was unclear why the eight-legged pests were partial to the Mazda6 - the only model affected - over other models or automakers.

This particular spider is about the size of a dime and weaves a small sac instead of a large web a la Charlotte of "Charlotte's Web" fame.

Mazda launched the recall after dealers around the country reported more than 20 cases of the nesting spiders in Mazda6 models released in 2009 and 2010.

The company said it will notify owners of affected cars this month. Dealers will inspect and clean out the fuel lines if necessary.

Mazda said it may never solve the mystery of the fuel line-dwelling spiders.

Cracking a joke on the Mazda's popular commercial jingle, Barnes siad, "Perhaps yellow sac spiders like to go Zoom-Zoom?"http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/03/04/2011-03-04_bizarre_fuel_hose_spider_infestations_spark_mass_mazda_recall_65000_cars_recalle.html

Shake 'n' Bake
Mar 4, 2011, 04:36 PM
An interesting tidbit on this: Spiders have only been found on L4 equipped models; none found on V6 powered cars.

linkedPIXEL
Mar 4, 2011, 08:10 PM
Most random recall reason ever... :eek:

Tailpike1153
Mar 4, 2011, 08:24 PM
Can you use RAID as an octane booster?