WASHINGTON — Mazda has fingered an unusual culprit in its new safety recall — a spider.
The Japanese automaker is recalling more than 50,000 Mazda6 cars from the 2009-2010 model years. The company says a spider could weave a web in a vent connected to the fuel tank system and clog up the tank's ventilation. Pressure on the fuel tank could lead to a crack, causing fuel leakage and the risk of a fire.
Mazda told the government it had received two reports about problems with the tank. In one of the cases, a spider web was found in the vent.
The recall involves vehicles built from April 2008 and February 2010.
In a separate recall, Chrysler Group LLC said more than 248,000 crossover wagons and minivans have a defect that could allow the key to slip while driving, causing the engine to shut down without warning.
Chrysler, which is managed by Italy's Fiat SpA, said it knew of two rear-end collisions that may have stemmed from this problem, according to a notice posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website on Thursday.
The affected models are the Dodge Journey crossover and the Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans. The model year 2010 vehicles were made between Aug. 3, 2009, and June 17, 2010.
About 3 percent of the 248,437 recalled vehicles are likely to have the problem, Chrysler said in the notice.
According to the notice, the company launched an internal investigation last September to evaluate a growing number of reports about the engine shutdown or stalling.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.