They say that fact is often stranger than fiction, and this is certainly true of this story that has been dropped onto our desk a few times this week by curious readers.
A story about spiders forcing Mazda to recall 42,000 cars in order to apply a software upgrade sounds somewhat unlikely, and whilst researching the tale we must admit we were a little skeptical.
But alas the story turned out to completely genuine, and certainly isn’t the first run in Mazda have had with these eight legged critters.
Apparently the yellow sac spider is attracted to the smell of petrol and can cause problems by crawling into the engine and causing potentially lethal blockages, a problem that the Mazda 6 is particularly susceptible to.
A statement from Mazda said that the yellow sac spider “may weave a web in the evaporative canister vent line, potentially causing a restriction in the line… … As the canister is purged repeatedly during normal operation, the stress on the fuel tank may eventually result in a crack, potentially leading to fuel leakage and an increased risk of fire.”
Thus over 40,000 vehicles are being recalled for a free software upgrade that will warn drivers if such a blockage is detected before any real damage is done.
According to the New York Times, when asked about why Mazda specifically seemed to be having so many problems with arachnid intruders, Jeremy Barnes a spokesperson said “Don’t ask me, I’m terrified of the damn things.”
The whole story serves as a reminder that not everything you see on the Internet that looks like a hoax is a hoax. But of course it is still worth researching the story before you pass it on to your friends.