The yellow sac spider that likes to make a home in certain Mazda 6 cars in the US also likes to nest in Honda Accords, a newspaper said.
According to the Los Angeles Times, American Honda hasn’t announced a recall but has notified its dealers to be on the lookout for the spider. The company has issued a technical service bulletin telling Honda mechanics how to fix the problem.
“It was the same scenario and the same breed of spider. It would get in there and create a blockage that would create problems,” Honda spokesman Chris Martin told the paper. The report said Honda doesn’t have a record of how many times it has spotted the problem but said it was big enough to put out the alert.
Martin said Honda believes the spider, whose Latin name is Cheiracanthium inclusum, is crawling into the system through the fuel tank door on the outside of the car. The doors fit snugly but are not airtight, to avoid trapping water and debris, he said. From there the bug probably is crawling down the vent hole, where there is a hidden, snug space, he said.
“It seems pretty random, and we don’t have data on regions,” Martin said.
Among Hondas, the spider problem shows up the most often in 2008 and 2009 model year Accords.
Last week the LA Times quoted an entomologist as saying Mazda’s spider problem could be the result of an infestation by the venomous arachnid at an auto parts supplier or the Flat Rock, Michigan, plant where the automaker assembles the 6 cars, rather than at the garages of owners.
John Trumble, a University of California at Riverside entomologist, said: “These spiders are not getting into the cars while they are parked at homes.”
Trumble said the spider is a “nocturnal hunter” that hides during the day and goes in search of prey at night.
“This is probably going on at some warehouse. The inside of a tube is the perfect place to spend the day waiting for night to go hunting,” Trumble said.
The spiders probably crawled into the tubes before some worker shipped the tubes to the assembly plant or placed them in cars, he told the LA Times.
But a Mazda spokesman retorted that the automaker believes the spiders are entering the vehicles after they leave the factory. He noted that one vehicle was at least two years old when the problem was discovered, and doubted that either the spider or the gas tank could have survived that long if the problem began before assembly.
“The tank is just not engineered for that type of blockage,” he said.
How the spiders got into the fuel systems remains a mystery, he told the paper.