Is this the strangest car recall ever? Mazda has been forced to recall 65,000 of its saloon cars in the U.S., Canada and Mexico after spiders were discovered nesting in their fuel pipes. Nobody can explain why the spiders have chosen the Mazda6 but there have been enough incidents to prompt a wide scale recall. What’s even more unusual is that the spiders have only appeared in cars with four cylinder engines.
The first incident happened in October 2009 when a Mazda6 was brought to a dealer with a fuel leak. A spider had spun a web in a fuel tank vent pipe, which created a vacuum in the tank, eventually cracking it. There have been 19 further episodes since then, not restricted to any region, prompting the recall. Mazda will check each car for evidence of spiders or webs and fit a part to prevent spiders from entering any pipes around the fuel tank.
Speaking to AFP news agency a Mazda spokesperson said: “There doesn’t seem to be any particular reason why he’s chosen the Mazda6.”
There’s a chance that a leaking fuel pipe could cause a fire, though none have been reported so far. No cars in the UK have been affected.
Spiderman showed me this article and I knew I had to share it on my blog. This is just a testament to the ingenuity of our arachnid friends as well as their weird and funny ways. All 6 of our tarantulas have distinct personality trait. Some keep a neat tank, others like to fill theirs with webbing and make it look all messy. Some like to drink from a water dish, others like to tip their water out and sit in the empty dish. Some like to climb walls, others stay on the ground. One likes to hang upside down from the metal grill at the top of the tank that lets in air, another likes to try to lift her lid. We’ve put a stop to her antics by weighting her lid down with a book. Another has dug a hole to sit in and used webbing to make her plastic tree lay flat instead of sticking up. Why do they do it? Who knows. But it is interesting to watch.
We both thought it was interesting that the articles said “There doesn’t seem to be any particular reason why HE’s chosen the Mazda6.” (emphasis mine) Because from what we know of spiders it is more likely a SHE making all the webbing. Female spiders are industrious, spinning webs and all that jazz whereas male spiders once they reach sexual maturity can’t be bothered and just move into an old web abandoned by a female as they plan their next move to trying to get off with some female they’ve just met. This could possibly be because once they become sexually mature they only live a year or 2 so they need to spend all their time looking for a shag and trying not to be eaten. Females, however can live much longer--possibly up to 20 years for some species of tarantula if well cared for.
This is why as carers we hope for females as we’ll get to keep them longer. We are SURE that Lily Rose and Blanche Dubois are female as we know their age because we got them from a friend who raised them from spiderlings. Tibia and Rosetti are close to or perhaps slightly past the age of sexual maturity and so far APPEAR to be female. Lastly we have 2 that are still much too young to tell. So Pirouette and Pippi may be in for a rude awakening after a moult when they turn out to have palps like boxing gloves to store their sperm and tibial hooks for holding back the female’s legs to keep her from eating him during sex. Time will tell.