Spiders attracted to gasoline have led to a massive recall of Mazda cars over fears that webs spun inside the gas tanks could cause engines to catch fire.
Mazda Motor Corp. issued a recall this week for Mazda6 sedans in North America due to a spider attracted to the small of gasoline. Company officials said the spiders can spin webs that raises the risk of fires in the engine.
The spider responsible for the recall is known as the yellow sac spider, a variety commonly found in homes that spins webs where the ceiling meets the wall. These spiders are also known to build a web around their bodies like a cocoon.
The web can eventually restrict fuel flow, reducing tank pressure and ultimately creating stress that can lead to leaks. The situation increases the risk of a fire, though Mazda noted that no such fires have been reported.
The spiders in the gasoline tanks have only been spotted in cars from the company’s plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. Several biologists believe the spiders must have entered hoses at a warehouse before being shipped to the assembly plant, noting that the yellow spider likes to hide in tubes during the day and hunts at night.
This is not the first time spiders in gasoline tanks have caused a Mazda recall. Three years ago, the company recalled nearly 65,000 Mazda6 sedans in North America for the same reason. The company tried to fix the problem by adding a spring to the vent line intended to keep the spiders from reaching the gasoline tank, but it was unsuccessful.