Web of intrigue as spiders force recall of 50,000 Mazdas

Japanese car maker Mazda is recalling more than 50,000 cars in the US and 15,000 in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, after discovering mysterious spiders' webs in the vents.

The company, which is recalling Mazda 6 cars from the 2009-2010 model years said a spider could weave a web in a vent connected to the fuel tank system and clog up the tank's ventilation. Pressure on the fuel tank could lead to a crack, causing fuel leakage and the risk of a fire.

Mazda said it was unaware of any fires, injuries or crashes in the vehicles.

Spokesman Jeremy Barnes said dealers had identified 20 cases in which spiders' webs were found in the vents. The webs were linked to yellow sac spiders, he said, but it was unclear why they were crawling into the Mazda 6 rather than other vehicles.

Adding to the mystery, Mr Barnes said the arachnoid attraction to the sporty cars -- which the company has marketed with its "zoom-zoom" tagline -- had no specific connection to a particular region of North America.

"Perhaps yellow sac spiders like to go zoom-zoom?" he quipped.

The recall involves vehicles with 2.5-litre engines built from April 2008 to February 2010. Owners will be told to take their vehicles to dealers for inspection and repairs and springs will be installed to prevent spiders from entering the vent line.