Friday, March 4, 2011

The itsy bitsy spider

Businesses have to anticipate and plan for all sorts of eventualities. A business continuity plan for an ebola outbreak or a response to gang warfare in the Niger delta may raise an eyebrow as to the extremes businesses go. But surely, planning a national response to an itsy bitsy spider takes the cake. And yet this is precisely what Mazda is discovering it ought to have done in the US of A.

The problem is this. Apparently a common spider called yellow sac spider has taken a distinct liking for Mazda cars. Or more precisely, the rubber hoses that are connected to the fuel tank. The spiders being rather fond of a long siesta during day time, find the inside of a tube the perfect place for somnolence in the hours of light. For some reason, the Mazda car tubes seem a superior choice to a Chevy tube, for instance.This apparently can lead to pressurisation or ventilation problems and in extreme cases could also crack the gas tank. So, Mazda has a problem on its hands.

Reportedly 20 such instances of "arachnid infestation" have been reported (surely a candidate for the Nonsense English award). Enough is enough. Mazda is having to recall 65,000 vehicles in the US for an investigation as to whether an eviction of the resident yellow sac spider is required.

Accusations are flying thick and fast. Mazda says these spiders have got in at the owner's garages. Some owners (and no doubt lawyers drooling on the prospect of a class action suit) are stating that they got in at Mazda's warehouse. Dealers who have to check these vehicles are figuring out what insurance they can take for the eventuality that some technician or the other may be bitten by one irate spider not amused by its summary eviction from its house. Mazda is no doubt issuing such pearls of wisdom as "Beware of spider before opening the car".

Meanwhile researchers are having a field day. They are getting their kicks researching why this spider has taken a liking to only the V6 Mazda, And not to any other model or any other brand. Some may deduce that the spider has a great taste in choosing cars - someday Mazda might even feature an ad that its car is the favourite of not only homo sapines, but other species as well.

Meanwhile Mazda is presumably busy trying to appoint a "Chief Entomology Officer". Anybody fancies this new job, which also carries the CEO tag ???