Honda facing possible venomous spider recall similar to Mazda

Last week, Mazda offered some interesting news as they issued a recall due to spiders crawling into the evaporative canister vent lines and causing excessive fuel tank pressure and now, Honda Motor Company has announced a technical service bulletin for a similar problem on select Honda Accord models.

Honda has not elevated this situation to a recall, but to acknowledge the possible problem, the Japanese automaker has issued a technical service bulletin (TSB). This explains to dealership technicians how to handle the problem, should they have to work with any 2008-2009 Honda Accord models plagued with the evaporative canister vent tube blockage.

If you missed the initial recall announcement from Mazda explaining their Mazda6 recall, what is happening is that the Yellow Sac Spider is climbing into the vent tube for the emissions evaporative canister and building their sac-style webs. These strong little sacs (which house the spider and its eggs) can get to be strong enough that they prevent the tube from venting during the evaporative purge process. This inability to vent the pressure can cause excessive pressure inside the fuel tank and provided enough of this pressure over a period of time, it can actually crack the fuel tank.

The Mazda6 recall includes cleaning out the vent hose and adding a spring-loaded cap that should prevent the little buggers from getting into the tube. Honda, on the other hand, has simply let their technicians to know to be on the lookout for any problems that could relate to this issue – addressing the problem as needed. Considering that Mazda saw a safety issue with this spider issue, it will be interesting to see if the NHTSA lets the Honda issue slide with just a TSB.

When the recall was first issued by Mazda, there wasn’t much information about what type of spider was causing the problem or if there was certain regions of the US that were more likely to experience the problem. Now that we have some more information about the type of spider, we know that there is little regional relevance to the Mazda recall or the Honda TSB, as the Yellow Sac Spider is found all over the US…and they are very poisonous.

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The scientific name of this spider is Cheiracanthium inclusum and in an interesting piece of unfortunate information, this spider is venomous and it is consider to be as dangerous as well-known spiders like the Brown Recluse and the Black Widow. In fact, the Yellow Sac Spider is far more common and aggressive than the shy Brown Recluse – actually accounting for a fair percentage of the damaging bites to humans that are attributed to the Brown Recluse. The venom of the Yellow Sac Spider contains a strong cytotoxin, which begins to destroy cells and tissue as soon as it enters the victim. Also, unlike spiders that build webs in which they catch their food and reside, the Cheiracanthium inclusum uses its sac as a home and instead of waiting for food to come to them – they hunt their prey.

Based on that, if you own a 2008-2009 Honda Accord or a 2009-2010 Mazda6 sedan, I would recommend asking your dealership about the issue next time you stop in for an oil change.

Source: LA Times

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