Itsy bitsy spider causes Mazda recall

A Mazda6
Handout photo
A Mazda6
Handout photo

The itsy bitsy spider crawled up the Mazda vent.

Mazda recalled some cars because of where the spider went.

In what may well be an automotive industry first, Mazda is recalling 52,000 cars because of the potential for a vent line to be clogged by -- you guessed it -- spider webs. (Yes, really.)

"A certain type of spider may weave a web in the evaporative canister vent line and this may cause a restriction in the line," warns the official recall notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If a spider does weave its tangled web there, it could prevent vapors from escaping the fuel tank and "eventually result in a crack, potentially leading to fuel leakage and an increased risk of fire."

The recall applies to 2009-2010 model year Mazda6's. Back in October 2009, the automaker examined a Mazda6 with a crack in the fuel tank and, lo and behold, found a spider web in the vent line.

"Our subsequent investigation revealed that a spider web caused a restriction in the canister vent line," Mazda informed NHTSA in a letter dated Feb. 25.

Owners of the midsize sedan will need to take their car to a Mazda dealership where a special valve designed to "prohibit spider intrusion" will be installed.

Mazda says no fires, accidents, or injuries are known to have been caused by this insect-related issue. No word yet on rumors that fire ants may have been involved in Toyota's recent unintended acceleration recalls. (No, not really.)

  • Carter Yang

    Carter Yang is a Washington, D.C.-based producer for the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. He covers aviation and transportation.