- Toyota Tundra

Toyota owners sue the company after rats eat the engine

Rodents have expensive taste as it turns out

3w ago


It's warm and cosy and scattered with healthy snacks - sounds like the perfect place to spend the night. Don't worry about the owner of the hotel, who won't be particularly happy tomorrow morning when he finds the air-conditioning no longer works. Or if it does work, a gust of dander and excrement.

Rodents nibbling at things they shouldn't in the engine bays of cars isn't new. But in the US, everything can be turned into a lawsuit and that's exactly what is happening with this too.

A few years ago - and without a word about it - the wiring insulation in the prestigious Toyota hotels was switched from vinyl-chloride to a more environmently-friendly soy-based material. This, to paraphrase the owners' complaints, is akin to leaving a cheese platter garnished with peanut butter in the shed and then wondering why rats and mice are eating it.

The Hotel Ratz

The Hotel Ratz

In 2018, the class-action was knocked back by the US Disctrict Court in California, as the new wiring insulation didn't classify as a "latent defect". Toyota's defence was that rats and mice have always been pests and it's a fact of life that they will also act like pests.

The plaintiffs refuse to be defeated and have now taken up their case with the Court of Appeals. The former ruling hasn't been revoked, but they do agree that it's no good blaming animals for eating something with a vegetable in it.

This makes it a defect at the time of purchase even if the damage occured later. This could end up being quite a big deal as Toyota isn't the only one to use this stuff for wiring insulation. Whether anyone admits this remains to be seen.

In the meantime, an environmentally-friendly solution requires a not-so environmentally-friendly solution - rat traps. And comprehensive insurance.

Have rodents ever eaten bits of your car?

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Comments (23)

  • What next? Bio degradable wiring harne-oh wait

      22 days ago
  • Sometimes I wonder why companies think this is a good idea.

      22 days ago
  • I was once given a jag xj6 because rats had chewed on the front wiring loom while in storage, $100 spent at the wreckers for a new front loom and my mates and i were cruising like gangsters.

      22 days ago
    • You don’t happen to own the rats in question do you? (Part of an ornate plan to get in a Jag ...)

        20 days ago
    • Funny thing was that I kept it for six months ( never been a jag man but have been won over) sold it for a good profit and then saw it 3 weeks later next to a underpass bonnet up, stayed there for a week before disappearing.

        20 days ago
  • Yes going back a few years when my dad bought his Nissan Tiida new in 2008 rats decided to eat most of the Stone guard underneath the engine and insulation foam around the loom wires which had to be replaced

      22 days ago
  • My dad lost a 2002 Audi A4 that he bought himself as a retirement gift in the same way. It turned out simple at first, just the dome lights where the rear view mirror is towards the ceiling of the vehicle. Then the problems everything else began. Once the car was taken apart, it was discovered that the mice had eaten the entire main harness as it originated under the driver seat of the vehicle. Even though his car was in great shape for its age, it was totaled in 2018 because the parts and labor to replace the entire harness exceeded the insurance threshold of what they felt the car was worth.

      21 days ago


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