Buggy Technology: Mazda Recalls 42,000 Cars Due To Spiders (Again)

Any time you deal with technology, rooting out bugs is inevitably part of the process. Sometimes it's a literal step -- just ask Mazda, which for the second time in three years is recalling its Mazda6 sedans in North America because of spiders that like the smell of gasoline crawling up into the fuel system and weaving webs that could cause bad things to happen.

Spiders have been known to build webs in the evaporative canister vent hose. This is a problem because the web blocks the vent and causes the fuel tank to have an excessive amount of negative pressure, which in turn can crack the fuel tank. If that happens, fuel can leak out, increasing the risk of a fire.


According to a report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recall affects around 42,000 certain model year 2010-2012 Mazda6 vehicles manufactured between September 14, 2009, through May 2, 2011, and equipped with a 2.5L engine.

Mazda is in the process of notifying owners of affected models. To address the issues, dealers will reprogram the powertrain control module and inspect and clean the canister vent line. Should there be any webs in the line, Mazda will replace the fuel tank and check valve on canister vent line will be replaced, all free of charge.

Yellow Sac Spider

Just like the last time Mazda issued a recall due to spiders, the culprit is a yellow sac spider. These arachnids are attracted to hydrocarbons in the fuel system and were the reason Mazda recalled 52,000 Mazda6 vehicles in 2011. Mazda fixed the issue by installing a cover on the line that stopped these spiders from entering it and reprogramming the ECU to change the logic behind how the car purges the charcoal canister during normal operation. Mazda then made a running change to install the cover on all cars at the factory, but did not apply the ECU logic change, hence this second recall.