[Rear View]

Departments - RearView

News and notes from the industry and the insect world

May 27, 2014
PCT Magazine

Spider Problem Leads to Mazda Recall

Mazda recently recalled some of its cars to fix a problem with spiders getting inside and wreaking havoc. The latest recall involves 42,000 Mazda6 midsize sedans from the 2010-12 model years, and equipped with the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, the LA Times reports.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the spiders can weave a web inside a vent hose connected to the fuel tank. This blockage can cause excessive negative pressure inside the gas tank itself. The problem is similar to one discovered in 2011 when Mazda had to recall 65,000 of its 6 sedans from the 2009-10 model years.

This was the second recent incident in which spiders caused problems for auto manufacturers. In October 2013, Toyota announced a recall of 870,000 vehicles because a problem with an air conditioner part could cause airbags to deploy unnecessarily. In some cases, the problem was caused by spiders.

Sometimes, their webs can create a blockage in a drainage tube coming from the air conditioning condenser. That can cause water to drip down onto an airbag control module, causing a short circuit. That, in turn, could cause the airbag warning light to light up on the dashboard and it could even cause the driver‘s side airbag to deploy, something that happens with explosive force. In some cases, there could also be a loss of power-steering force, Toyota said.


April Fool's Day Fun with Bed Bugs

For a brief, fleeting moment bed bugs may have captured the interests of the likes of Keith Richards, Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen due to an April “news” story making the rounds about kids smoking bed bugs to get high. According to a story that appeared to be originating from Phoenix station KNXV, “the latest alleged shocking schoolyard trend is kids smoking or injecting crushed bedbugs to get a cheap high from a hallucinogenic substance (PH-417) supposedly contained within bed bugs” (visit http://bit.ly/1sMk6w5 to view the video).

However, according to Snopes.com, a website devoted to debunking urban legends, this story was just a hoax, an April Fool‘s Day prank based on an altered version of a real KNXV-TV report from several months earlier on the dangers of “dabbing” (i.e., inhaling butane-extracted hash oil, also known as BHO).

Scopes.com added that the “crushed bed bugs” item has now entered the pantheon of bogus alarmist warnings about fictitiously bizarre things that kids supposedly do to get inexpensive highs, such as shamboiling (i.e., inhaling boiled shampoo fumes), jenkem (i.e., inhaling fermented raw sewage), and shooting up with Pantene brand shampoo.