The automaker refused to pay up when rodents destroyed the wiring in her RAV4, which has soy-based insulation.
Rodents aren’t exactly fussy eaters. If they can sink their teeth into it, they will chow down on it. A rat, for instance, can chew through steel if it puts its mind to it.
So a car’s wiring poses no challenge whatsoever to strong-jawed, pointy toothed vermin. Especially if it is covered with a tasty, soy-based sheath.
Janice Toler filed a class-action lawsuit against Toyota earlier this week after it refused to repair the damage, which totaled around $5,500, under warranty, reports Action News JAX.
According to the ‘suit, Toler was told rodents had caused the damage when she took her car to a Toyota service center in October. She was shown the evidence, including their bathroom arrangements.
Toler was told that “the car would require a total rewiring because rodents had chewed up almost every wire in the engine compartment,” the filing claims.
It goes on to say that Toyota regards such damage caused by animals, including rodents, as “an environmental condition that is not covered under the warranty”.
Toler disagrees with that assertion, considering Toyota’s soy-based wiring insulation a defect. The automaker switched from petroleum-based insulation to the organic alternative a few years. The ‘suit argues that Toyota did so “in the name of profit and cost-cutting”.
Toyota would probably counter that environmental concerns played a bigger part in the decision, but the company has yet to officially comment on Toler’s lawsuit. It also isn’t clear whether or not any other complainants have joined her in the ‘suit.
In 2015, one 2015 RAV4 owner complained to the National Highway Transport Safety Administration after the their car suffered similar rodent damage.
Source: Action News JAX