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Spiders force Toyota to recall 800,000 vehicles

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Toyota Logo (Flickr)
Toyota Logo (Flickr)

Toyota has announced a voluntary recall of some 803,000 cars due to airbags inadvertently deploying — and the blame appears to be spiders inside the air conditioning units. Toyota's recall notice states that some 2012 and 2013 Camry, Venza, and Avalon vehicles are experiencing problems with their air conditioning condenser unit housing — apparently, condensation and water has been leaking into the airbag control module. In most cases, that's just causing the airbag warning light to turn on, but a few times the driver side airbag has deployed without warning.

However, according to CNN, the cause of the leak is rather unsettling if you suffer from arachnophobia. Spiders and their webs are apparently responsible for clogging the air conditioner drainage tubes, causing the water spillover onto the airbag control module. Fortunately for the hundreds of thousands of car owners potentially affected by the recall, this has only happened to a small number of cars — three airbag deployments and 35 warning light activations have been documented, according to Toyota. In all cases, spiders were a common factor — but given the very limited number of issues Toyota has seen, this feels like a "better safe than sorry" recall. In fact, Toyota notes that it's voluntary, and the fix sounds pretty simple. The company will apply a sealant and install a cover to eliminate the dripping.