Toyota Recalls 800,000 Vehicles Because...Spiders?

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Toyota is recalling more than 800,000 vehicles because of spontaneously inflating airbags caused by spider webs.


Now to a story about automobiles and arachnids. Last week, Toyota announced it will recall more than 800,000 cars - that includes Camrys, Avalons, Venzas - all because of a problem with the air-conditioning system.


The company says condensation from the A/C unit could leak on to sensors that cause the airbag to spontaneously deploy or the airbags could go off because of spiders, specifically spider webs.

CORNISH: Arachnids, probably minding their own business, looking for a place to rest their eight legs, have been known to spin webs inside cars' condensers. While that's all well and good for the spider, the web can actually block drainage tubes.

BLOCK: In limited cases, that water build-up and potential short-circuiting can cause an unexpected loss of power steering, too. It sounds pretty scary, kind of like finding a spider inside your car.


GWEN STEFANI: (Singing) And now I'm stuck in the web you're spinning. You've got me for your prey. Sorry, I'm not home right now. I'm walking into spider webs, so leave a message and I'll call you back.

CORNISH: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from