Toyota and Honda are facing separate class action lawsuits filed on behalf of thousands of car owners who allege that the soy-based coating on car wires attract rodents that eat the wires and cause thousands of dollars in damages, according to a news report.
In an effort to reduce waste, the carmakers both use soy- or bio-based materials for wire coating in their vehicles that is attractive to rodents, including rats, mice and squirrels. One Toyota car owner from Falls Church, Virginia, reported that his car sustained approximately $10,000 in damage from rodents eating the wires.
The Toyota lawsuit includes vehicles manufactured between 2012 and 2016. The Honda lawsuit includes vehicles produced between 2012 and 2015. The suits state that although the manufacturers’ decision to use soy-based insulation materials may have been well intentioned, the result has proven to be expensive for car owners who have to pay the deductibles on expensive repairs.
To date, Toyota has refused to repair the rodent-caused damages under warranty. The carmaker has said that damage caused by rodents eating car wiring occurs in many makes and models of cars and is not specific to Toyota or a specific vehicle model.
A Honda spokesperson said that the fact that rodents are drawn to chewing on vehicle wires is not new, and pre-dates the introduction of soy-based wire coating.
According to the Toyota suit, the average cost of repairing the damaged wiring is $1,200. Most incidences are covered by insurance, but the vehicle owner is still responsible for footing the bill for the deductible.
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