Snakes on a plane, or spiders in a car; which scenario is more ick-worthy?
If you went with the latter, you may want to reconsider purchasing a Suzuki Kizashi, from model years 2010 through 2013.
That's because Suzuki has recalled over 19,000 Kizashis for spider infestation problems. It seems the little charmers have developed a love of gasoline vapors, and the tangled webs they are weaving in evaporative emissions hoses eventually block the vents through which gasoline vapors escape the vehicle.
So not only are they spiders, which is bad enough, but they're overachieving spiders and high on fumes to boot. Since it is not likely that they can be rehabilitated, they must not be allowed access to these ventilation hoses.
That's because blocked airflow in the evaporative emissions system can lead to negative pressure in the fuel tank. Which could lead to cracks in the fuel tank. Which could lead to leaks that increase the risk of a fire, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Here's the problem, though, and a possible reprieve for the now-targeted arachnids -- Suzuki ceased operations in the U.S. after its American affiliate declared bankruptcy in 2012. The company sold off its remaining inventory in late 2012.
That means no Suzuki dealerships and service departments exist to keep the spiders from legging out their appointed rounds. Suzuki will send letters to Kizashi owners, directing them to bring the vehicles to authorized service providers. None of these providers are specifically mentioned in the letter to owners, but there is a toll-free phone number noted in the letter that customers should call so that Suzuki can tell them where to go.
These service providers will replace the evaporative canister vent line with a new vent line that has a filter attached to it that will prevent spiders from reaching their intended destination. If the canister vent line is found to be obstructed by a spider web, the fuel tank will also be replaced.
Suzuki claims no accidents, injuries or deaths attributed to the itsy bitsy problem. It was not sure if that claim also applies to the spiders. In related insect news, 42,000 2010-2012 Mazda 6 cars were recalled for the same problem. Apparently, spiders are patriotic enough not to infest American cars, which should come as no surprise.
The blockage occurs only in cars made at a plant in Flat Rock, Mich., at which Mazda once produced cars jointly with Ford Motor Co. until 2012. The Associated Press says the yellow sac spider is the guilty arachnid -- it is attracted to hydrocarbons, and builds webs that cause pressure to build in the fuel tank, increasing the risk of fuel leaks and fire.
The Suzuki Kizashi was a compact sedan that competed against the Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Jetta and similar-sized vehicles. It sold fairly well and was well-received by the automotive press. No wonder spiders were drawn to it.