Spider webs in fuel lines prompt Suzuki recall

Spiders have forced Suzuki to recall more than 19,000 midsize cars.

The automaker says spider webs can clog a fuel vapor vent hose in some 2010 to 2013 Kizashi cars, cutting off air flow. If that happens, it can cause the gas tank to deform, causing cracks, fuel leaks and possible fires.

The problem hasn't caused any accidents or injuries in the U.S., Suzuki said in documents posted Wednesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Owners will be notified this month. Those with questions can call Suzuki customer service at (800) 934-0934.


Cheiracanthium milddi male spider

Richard Bartz, Wikipedia

The recall is not the first car recall for spider invasion. In April 2014, Mazda recalled 42,000 Mazda6 midsize cars in the U.S. with 2.5-liter engines for a similar problem. The recalled cars were from the 2010 through 2012 model years. Mazda also issued a recall over spiders in 2011.

Some reports attributed the problem to spiders being attracted to the odor of gasoline in the fuel lines. But Linda Rayor, an entomologist at Cornell University, told CBS News by telephone that "I cannot imagine spiders are attracted to gas fumes - not a chance."

Common house spiders - dubbed yellow sac spiders by scientists - were blamed. Rayor points out that that type of spider is especially fond of tight places to build their telltale yellow retreat sacs, especially in the junction between the ceiling and the wall. "It is not surprising that you find spiders inside cars - they are everywhere. They probably like the tight shape" of the fuel line in the car. Or perhaps it is just that they had access.

The recall was prompted by seven reports of the problem. Service centers will replace the vent line with one that has a filter on the end. They'll also replace gas tanks if necessary.

American Suzuki Motor Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November of 2012 and stopped selling automobiles in the U.S.