What has eight legs, eight eyes, is yellow and black all over, and has the ability to clog a car's fuel tank system? If you said Cheiracanthium inclusum, you'd be right. More generally speaking, the answer is the yellow sac spider, a spider that has recently been at the center of a recent vehicle recall.
Sometimes it seems like every week another car manufacturer is recalling one of their cars or SUVs. Most of the time, vehicles are recalled because of some defect that is making the vehicle a dangerous product for consumers. Just last week, Mazda Motor Corp. announced a recall due to pest infestation, the first of its kind, affecting 65,000 of its vehicles.
Though the yellow sac spider is venomous and is known for biting humans, spider bites are not the recall's main concern. According to Mazda, dealers were discovering that the spiders were infesting certain models of the Mazda6 vehicle. Spider nests were found in the tubing of the fuel tank system and were causing problems with ventilation in the vehicle.
Thus far, there have been no serious accidents or bite reported. But even so, how and why are the spiders making the Mazda6 their home? One theory is that the spiders are actually getting into the tubes before the vehicles leave the factory. Mazda claims that the spiders were probably entering the cars after leaving the factory.
Though spiders in a tube may not seem like a big problem when compared to a faulty accelerator (one of the more recent Toyota recalls), the car company is still urging car owners to bring their vehicles in for a check. Spider nests could cause blockages, resulting in fuel leaks. Worst case scenario: the car could start on fire.
As to why the spiders are making nests in the Mazda6, the answer is still a mystery. Perhaps spiders just like fast cars.
Source: LA Times online, "Spiders may have entered Mazda cars before assembly, expert says," Jerry Hirsch and Tiffany Hsu, 05 March 2011