This must be by far the most hilarious recall action we've ever heard about. It involves some 52,000 US-market Mazda6 cars from the 2009 and 2010 model years and a gasoline-loving spider. Yes, you read correctly; it's about a species of a spider that loves to build its web in the Mazda6 vent line, thus endangering the integrity of the gas tank.
“A certain type of spider may weave a web in the evaporative canister vent line and this may cause a restriction in the line," reads the National Highway Traffic Safety Association press release. "If this occurs, the fuel tank pressure may become excessively negative when the emission control system works to purge the vapors from the canister.”
What could happen is that “the stress on the fuel tank may eventually result in a crack, potentially leading to fuel leakage and an increased risk of fire,” adds the document.
The Yellow Sac spider, a common species in the US, likes the smell of hydrogen oxide that gasoline contains. The Mazda6 “has two pipes coming out from its gas tank, which is extremely rare and means that the smell of gasoline is strong enough to draw the spider in but not strong enough to kill it,” said Japanese automotive journalist Mitsuhiro Kunisawa quoted by Reuters, adding that there's no similar problem with any other Mazda car.
The remedy is to install a spring to prevent the spider from entering the vent line. The recall action will be free of charge for owners of the affected cars and will begin on March 25.
By Dan Mihalascu
Sources: NHTSA, Reuters