The Spiders From Mazda

04 Mar

It’s all in this story by Peter Valdes-Dapena, yet another dogged, gum-cracking CNN reporter with a keen eye for the truth, and it’s called Spiders Lead To Mazda Recall.

That’s the kind of thing I click on, right there, yes indeed.

And sure enough, here’s what I learn – that Mazda is in fact “recalling about 52,000 Mazda6 sedans in the U.S., because yellow sac spiders like to build their nests in part of the fuel system.”

Huh.  That’s pretty weird, don’t you think?

I’ve never heard of a spider-related car recall in my life.  And I’m extremely intrigued by the odd, informal, and clunky way that was worded, aren’t you?

The spiders like to?  Is that what you just said?

Because, I think it’s the actual presence of the spiders, not how the spiders feel while they’re present.  A very subtle distinction, I know.  But when you say that it’s because the spiders like to do that as opposed to simply that the spiders are doing that, well it doesn’t sound quite as bad, does it?

Not only does it sound sort of nice that way, it also sounds like the spiders are unrelated to the car, they just stroll by and really dig it and can’t stay away.  Look, Bill – a Mazda!  I’ve heard their evaporative canister vent lines are awesome this time of year!

That’s apparently the specific place in the specific kind of specific car in which that specific kind of spider “likes” to build its webs.  And although me and Mazda are pretty sure the spiders don’t mean any harm, it turns out that’s a very bad place for them to enjoy themselves so thoroughly, for a pretty long paragraph full of reasons, which end by the way in “the possibility of a fire.”

Man, I wish those spiders didn’t like to do that so much, says Mazda, but they’re just crazy about our Mazda6 sedans.  What you want to do is bring yours into one of our dealerships, and we’ll check it for spiders and then spiderproof it for you.  Have you back on the road in no time.

Well, that’s a relief.  It would really freak me out if there was nothing we could do about the spiders, because what if they started branching out to other cars?  They could bring this great nation to its knees. 

When will people get a grip on the devastating effect the natural world can have on our fossil fuel-burning machines?  You careless monsters!  Damn you!  Damn you all to hell! 

Now anyway, you might be thinking, say, Tom – how do they spider-proof the cars?   

Good question and it speaks highly of you that you would ask.  The answer is very technical, so I’ll quote again directly from the article:  “A spring will be installed.” 

So I guess there’s a tiny, spider-sized door and it’s occasionally left ajar by the current springless technology, allowing the spiders in.  I’m thinking probably a really tiny version of the one on your grandma’s back porch, but I hope it doesn’t have the air tube thing on it, to keep it from slamming. 

A sneaky spider could time that shit just right and get in there where she likes to build webs, and then your car could explode, or at least an explosion would be more likely, because of spider-related negative pressure build-up in the gas tank.

Oh, yeah – it’s a crazy world, man.

Apparently it has happened 20 times – the webs, not the fires – all in Mazda6 sedans, all with 4-cylinder engines.  Never in a V-6.  So far, they’ve managed every time to figure out that there were spiders in there before anything exploded.   

Which I think we can all agree is good news. 

But weird, right?  Mazda, CNN – isn’t that weird?

Sure it’s weird, says the author, and let’s get to the bottom of it.  I’ll get the company spokesman on the line and get some answers.  And it’s interesting what he chooses to put in quotes and what he leaves out of them.  This part’s outside of quotes:

“It’s unclear why this particular spider… seems to prefer the model year 2009 and 2010 Mazda6, company spokesman Jeremy Barnes said.  All modern cars have the same type of equipment.”

And then he directly quotes him with a cute little Mazda commercial:

“Maybe they just like cars that go ‘Zoom-Zoom’,” he said.  “We honestly don’t know.”


Hahahah.  Yeah, maybe that’s it.  Except my understanding was that all of your cars did that, and I would expect the V-6’s to do it more.  So that seems more like a deflection with a sprinkle of Sales Guy Laughter, and then a sigh implying that we’d might as well move on.

Except you know what – I have a theory.  Now bear with me here, I know I’m not a Mazda engineer and I’m not a highly trained CNN reporter, but maybe – just maybe – it’s not the general “type of equipment” that you’re using.  

Maybe it’s the actual, specific part that you’re putting in the exact kind of Mazda6 which keeps having the spider problem.  Maybe it’s the specific factory for example, or the specific lot number on a batch of spider egg-tainted adhesive or lubricant.

Say, professional and well-paid CNN reporter – did you happen to ask if there were any parts or procedures unique to that particular part of the Mazda6 sedans in question?

No, of course not.  CNN reporters don’t report, they turn tricks.  That’ll be a hundred bucks, Mazda.

But we don’t even need the untapped investigative skills of Peter Valdes-Dapena, because think about it for two seconds and you’ll see that’s the problem, there are freaking spider eggs in some kind of seal or goo or part that went into the particular fuel system that’s being affected.

The spiders are not roaming around the country looking for one particular type of car and then moving into it like gypsies.  What the hell are you talking about, Mazda?  You’re going to put a lock on the little spider doors?  Do you think I’m six?

That is an absolutely stupefying batch of things to ask educated adults to believe.

Obvious to anyone except CNN Reporter Peter Valdes-Dapena is that Mazda just shipped 52,000 cars with vent pipes full of spider eggs, and they’re not crazy about that particular headline. 

The spiders “like to build their nests” there because that’s where the spiders were freaking born.

Seriously, guys – it’s not a big deal.  I don’t think you packed spider eggs into your cars’ fuel systems on purpose – why would you do such a thing? 

No, but you’re certainly bullshitting us on purpose, aren’t you, Mazda?  And it’s insulting to us and embarrassing to you, and I’d like you to please cut it out, okay?

Thanks, Mazda.  I’m sorry I snapped at you, big fella.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 4, 2011 in News/Commentary


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One response to “The Spiders From Mazda

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