Recalls have become so common that most of them barely warrant much mention unless they lead to a web of intrigue. Or, sadly, unless it's one from Toyota.
However, last week's minor recall of some 2009 and 2010 Mazda6 sedans for the Yellow Sac spider infestation in the car's fuel evaporative system was the exception. Since it went wildly viral, Mazda did not even have to put a PR spin on the story. Web spiders did it for the PR folk at Mazda USA.
"We've seen over 1,100 separate stories on the recall, more than 500 of which were television coverage. It's really been pretty incredible, and quite unlike anything I've ever seen or been involved with before," Jeremy Barnes, a veteran spokesman for Mazda told us yesterday. "Between March 2 and March 3 (the day the story broke), we saw nearly a 50 percent increase in traffic to the Mazda6 section of ."
Barnes goes on to point out that this was a voluntary recall. Mazda only knows about 20 cases of blocked vent tubes, out of 65,000 possibly affected cars – a .0003% chance of it occurring. "We took the steps to issue the recall, though, to do what's right by our customers," says Barnes. "And as to why the Yellow Sac spider chose the Mazda6 and none of the other choices in the midsize segment? Even spiders like cars that are fun to drive..."
We wait with bated breath to see if this is a "good" recall that leads to an increase in sales of the Mazda6. If it does, perhaps Mazda should introduce a convertible version of the Mazda6 in honor of the spider – it would, naturally, be named the Mazda6 Spyder. In the meantime perhaps a yellow special edition of the , the spyder Mazda already has in its collection would suffice.
If you Google "Yellow Sac Spider" you'll even find images of the Mazda6 creeping in amongst those of the real spider – such is the power of the Web. Heck we even found one spider had crept in when we Googled "Mazda spyder."
But alas, from Mazda's point of view, it appears others are jumping on the bandwagon. Yesterday, Honda also said it has heard of similar things happening in Accords of a similar vintage. PETA even went as far as offering to take infected Mazda6 sedans off owner's hands in order to save the lives of the spiders.