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

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

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SPIDERWEBS")

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.

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