Years ago many automakers switched from plastic to a soy-based wiring coating. The benefits range from the obvious reducing plastic in the landfill and oceans, to the less obvious cost benefits.
But the downsides are they're a preferred chew toy for many types of rodents, provide excellent nesting material, are found in near endless supply in a warm, hidden spot.
Soy Wiring Complaints From Ford Owners ∞
Ford is far from alone on this problem. ∞
Toyota was sued because owners think this sort of damage should be covered under warranty. Toyota continually denies that modern insulation is any more appealing to rodents saying we are currently not aware of any scientific evidence that shows rodents are attracted to automotive wiring because of alleged soy-based content.
Honda owners were also tired of rodents using their engines as a playground full of chew toys. The lead plaintiff says his 2014 Honda CrossTour wiring was shredded by a rabbit, a rabbit found in the engine compartment by a Honda dealer. Delaney says the dealer provided a photo of the rabbit enjoying the soy wiring for lunch, but the dealer refused to cover the repairs under warranty, which left Delaney paying $765 for the repairs..
In the case of Michelle Martinez v. Hyundai Motor America, Inc., the plaintiffs say that when an owner takes their vehicles in for repairs due to chewed wires, the gnawed materials are replaced with more soy-based materials. A vicious circle ensues, and owners can spend thousands of dollars just keeping their cars running.
Subaru was sued in Hawaii because, come to find out, replacing a fuel line or running new electrical ain't cheap. Especially when you have to do it again and again.
Tips for Preventing Rodent Damage ∞
- Regularly open the hood and inspect your engine for signs of rodent activity (so, poop)
- When you move the car, look for any shredded pieces of wire coating or other material that looks like a nest that might have fallen out.
- Clean all food out of your car, including food sealed in bags. This is especially important for dog food and treats.
- Some have had success with putting mothballs, dryer sheets, or liquid peppermint in their engine compartments.
- Wrap your electrical wiring in something rodents can't stand.