TAMPA -- Have you looked under your car’s hood lately?
You may want to as more people say rodents have made it their unlikely home.
According to lawsuits filed against major car manufacturers, it’s thanks to your car’s new wiring that is attracting their hungry bellies.
Boris Itric has been a mechanic for more than 50 years, so when he looks under a car hood,
“This one is damaged a lot,” he said.
He knows instantly whether the wires here have been chewed.
“Right here there were bite marks,” says Itric.
Itric says this is something he says is common and not biased to just one type of car. He’s been seeing this type of damage for years.
This lawsuit 10 investigates got their hands on against Toyota claims that it’s happening more because of the soy based materials in the wiring now being used.
“Soy is a food product and arguably soy is delicious to rodents and what we alleged is it attracts a high number of rodents and they chew through the wires and it disables cars,” says Brian Kabateck an attorney with Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP, the firm who is representing the class action lawsuit.
Names on both lawsuits are from car drivers all over the country.
We also have photos they say showing the damage these rodents cause.
These ones are from a Florida woman and her Toyota where you can clearly see bite marks.
“We’re talking thousands of dollars to fix these repairs,” says Itric.
“We’re not sure why manufacturer started using soy based but we believe it was because it was good for environment,” says Kabateck.
Kabateck says it’s not good for the car owner’s pocketbook as this problem isn’t covered under warranty.
“Wire gets completely chewed through,” says Kabateck.
So Kabateck says he only wants to see Toyota make things right.
“All we are asking in this case if people paid money out of their pocket give them their money and update the warranty,” says Kabateck.
In a statement from Toyota:
“While we cannot comment on this litigation, we can say that rodent damage to vehicle wiring occurs across the industry, and the issue is not brand- or model-specific. We are currently not aware of any scientific evidence that shows rodents are attracted to automotive wiring because of alleged soy-based content. “
Many insurance policies do cover your wiring getting fixed. The only problem, owners are still left with the deductible.
How to prevent this from happening:
There is anti-rodent tape that you can find online at stores like Walmart and Amazon where you can wrap it around your wires.
It costs around $20.
Another solution, is also fox urine. You can pick it up at many hardware and hunting stores. You just sprinkle it in the parking spot before you park your car and it scares away rodents because they think there’s a predator nearby.
►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10 News app now. Have a news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.