Mazda has a spider problem, and now it's issuing a voluntary recall to implement a "bug fix" in every sense of the word. A certain species, known as the yellow sac spider, is spinning webs in the vent lines of Mazda 6 sedans. The spider is attracted to gasoline and other hydrocarbons, and despite the Japanese carmaker's best efforts, the arachnids keep finding their way inside of the vent lines. It's not just a problem because it's creepy, however. The spider webs can cause restricted air flow, which could lead to a pressure buildup in the fuel tank. Pressure can cause cracks, and cracks can lead to fires, though no fires have yet been tied to the issue.
The car company first noticed the problem a few years back, and it issued a recall in 2011 for 52,000 Mazda 6 vehicles to install a spring designed to keep the gas-loving spiders out. But it seems some of the spiders can make it past the safety measure — nine cases of cracked fuel tanks were reported through 2013. So now Mazda is turning to a software update to solve the spider problem. New software — already installed on a number of vehicles — will make sure that the pressure won't reach dangerous levels, even if spiders manage to get inside the vents.
The recall announced this week affects 42,000 Mazda 6s in the US, model years 2010 to 2012. Hopefully this will solve the problem once and for all, but it seems Mazda's spider issues may go all the way to the top. When asked why Mazda's struggled so much with the spiders, a representative told The New York Times, "Don’t ask me, I’m terrified of the damn things."