Mazda told U.S. regulators that it is recalling 42,000 sedans
with 2.5-liter engines from model years 2010 to 2012 in the
United States. Mazda officials were not immediately available to
report recalls outside of the United States.
Three years ago, Mazda recalled about 65,000 Mazda6 sedans in
North America from model years 2009 and 2010, also because of
spider webs blocking evaporative canister vent lines. The same
issue is the cause of the most recent recall, Mazda told the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The web weaved by a spider can lead to a restriction of fuel
flow, which in turn can reduce fuel tank pressure when the
emission control system purges vapors from the evaporative
canister. This can put stress on the fuel tank, which may crack
and leak fuel, increasing the risk of a fire, a report filed
with NHTSA says.
Mazda said it is not aware of any fires because of this risk.
In 2011, Reuters reported that the Yellow Sac spider was the
culprit in that year's recall. It just likes the smell of
gasoline, an auto analyst told Reuters at the time.
Mazda attempted to remedy the problem by adding a spring to the
canister vent line to keep spiders from crawling inside.
For the most part, that solution worked, but after several
reports of cracked fuel tanks in sedans equipped with the
spring, Mazda engineers tried to figure out the spider's route
to the canister.
After learning of nine cases in which tanks were damaged even
though a spring was loaded, engineers determined that a change
in the car's software would keep tanks from cracking even if a
spider web blocks a vent.
Mazda will inform owners in the recall campaign to bring cars to
dealers, where the evaporative canister vent line will be
checked and cleared if necessary. Also, the dealerships will
The blockage is not present on other models made by Mazda and
occurs only in cars made a plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, at
which Mazda once produced cars jointly with Ford Motor Co. Mazda
stopped production of cars at Flat Rock in August 2012.
(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; editing by Steve Orlofsky)
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