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Incredible Edible Car

Will your brand new car be disabled overnight by a rodent?
The occurrence is far more common than you may realize, the only defense is to be aware of it and understand why it happens.

Pack Rat after lunch
Pack Rat after lunch

Why rodents love to eat cars

The unintended consequence of going "GREEN" !

Cars just taste way too good !

There are several systems where we have observed substantial damage caused by rodents:

Why does this happen?

It can be understood by looking at the composition of the materials that are eaten and what they contain:

Why vehicles were not eaten before ?

Simply because "before" automotive OEMs went on being "green" binge, almost everything in the car was made from metal, glass and plastic which was made 100% from petroleum.

None of those material particularly tasty or suitable for nest building by rodents.

Then in mid 1980's first in Germany through the infinite wisdom of Euro politicians, regulations were passed without much objection by anyone, that a vehicle manufacturer bears responsibility for their vehicle from "cradle to grave", that is from the time it is made to the time it is retired from service and disassembled so that the materials can be easily recycled.

While these regulations do not yet exist in USA, since manufacturers make cars to be sold in many parts of the world, making items from "different" materials for different markets is not cost effective.

Thus a silly regulation in even one country where it is enacted affects all vehicles sold all over the world made by that particular OEM.

The first unbelievable attempt at this "green" correctness was by Daimler on their Mercedes-Benz cars made from 1991 to 1995, where they started to use "bio-degradable wiring harness" ! 

There no action by rodents was necessary just heat and time did the ultimate damage and insulation on the wiring would start to deteriorate, crack, fall off and cause infinite combinations of wiring "shorts".

Of course this would not happen until after the vehicles were out of warranty. Generally in 5 to 7 years after manufacture with almost 100% fail rate by the 12 year anniversary from date of manufacture.

Typical cost to fix this "predictable" damage ?
From about $1,600 to as much as $6,000 per vehicle.

Why are vehicles being eaten NOW ?

The quest for being "Green" correctness started also in 1990's.

OEMs started by replacing the durable components that really did not need to last as long as they did, with generally untested improvements in material composition and with the use of "natural" materials to substitute for the petroleum in plastics.

OEMs also started replacing were possible any durable metal parts with limited lifespan plastic components.

Soy - has been utilized in just about anything from wiring harness covers, to wire insulation, to seat cushion foam and interior carpeting and trim.

Cars just started to taste way too good !

But mind you rodents (or Mother Nature, if you must) are not that stupid, indeed they are far more evolved and "smart" than humans give them credit for !

What one mouse or pack rat discovers is not kept as top secret for that individual rodent, or the immediate clan or family, that knowledge is very quickly "shared" with other rodents and becomes the knowledge of these creatures all over the world !

How that happens or how that is even possible is beyond the scope of this article, but there is definite proof that such animal knowledge "sharing" exists.

If one or two mice will eat something tasty and die shortly because of it, for example common automotive coolant that tastes sweet to animals, even if there are hundreds more starving mice near-by, they will no longer lick it, somehow they quickly learn that it is a deadly poison.

But if the stuff is not only tasty but also very nutritious, mice living hundreds of miles away will somehow gain this knowledge, and put the wiring harness or seat foam made with soy on their snack list.

Rodent damage after block party
This is a result of mice nibbling on SUBARU for few days

Why do rodents eat automotive wires?

Understanding why rodents gnaw on wires, and other components, is important in finding ways to prevent it.

Contrary to the common belief, they actually do not eat wiring for food.

Rodents gnaw constantly, to sharpen and keep the length of their teeth in check.

Unlike most mammals, the teeth of a rodent grow rapidly, throughout the life of the animal. A rat's teeth may grow up to 2.8 millimeters a week!

In just a year, they grow almost five inches. If they do not wear away, soon they would outgrow the mouth.

The rodent's tooth is a unique arrangement, designed to stay razor-sharp. Very thick enamel covers the front, and the rear is softer dentin material. Dentin is similar to bone and wears much faster than the front, leaving a very sharp edge.

Rat's tooth enamel is 5.5 on Mohs hardness scale. Aluminum, now favorite material for electrical connections, is 2.5; Copper is a three and even Iron rates as four. (Diamond is ten and Talc is rated as one.)

Cutting through a wiring harness is no challenge to any rodent.

All that said, if you were rodent would you prefer to chew on stinky gooey made from petroleum foam rubber, or a vanilla smelling one made from Soy?


Cars that taste good

Here is partial list of cars that have been recently damaged by rodent attacks:

BMW

BMW

MAZDA

MAZDA

FCA

DODGE
JEEP
CHRYSLER

FORD

FORD

HYUNDAI-KIA

HYUNDAI
KIA

DAIMLER

Mercedes-Benz

FUJI

SUBARU

TOYOTA

TOYOTA
SCION
LEXUS

HONDA

HONDA
ACURA

GM

CADILLAC
HUMMER
GMC
Chevrolet

TESLA

TESLA

VOLVO

VOLVO

VOLKSWAGEN

VW
PORSCHE

If your vehicle has been damaged by rodents, send us a note or better yet a picture as well ! (Specify Make, Model, Model Year and City, State and if known approximate cost of required repairs as well as incident date).

Send E-mail to synlube@aol.com

Oh how tasty - and good food too

Examples of what OEMs put in cars to feed the hungry masses of rodents all over the World, and are proud of it too - so they advertise it !

FORD

FORD has developed a soy-based foam, and just started using a bio-fabric for seating.

Soy Foam Seat
Soy Foam Seat - REALLY TASTY !!!

Rodents also have great affinity for fabrics made from recycled yarns - why ?
Who knows, may be it is the great "old time" scent, they do not eat this stuff, just build nests from it. Apparently it is more comfy than the non recycled brand new stuff.
But here is the catch: two-thirds of the FORD's vehicle programs in North America use fabric made from recycled yarns.
Need we say more ?

Soy Foam Seats in Ford Fusion
2013 Ford Fusion is the first global vehicle to use recycled materials!
... and of course Soy foam seats ...

Rodents Worldwide can't wait to sink their teeth into it !


TOYOTA

TOYOTA has lead this movement by pioneering the development of an "Eco Plastic" made from sugar cane or corn, and building a pilot plant to produce it.

TOYOTA's move to eco-friendly organic wiring insulator compounds that attract rodents as a food source!

TOYOTA wire insulation is made of an "organic" compound in keeping with its "green" philosophy. Could be peanut oil or similar ingredient that's attracting the little fur balls. There's been more than a few reports about chewed wiring that immobilizes TOYOTA vehicles.

This is a serious issue because to people who have experienced wiring damage by munching rodents, which IS NOT covered under TOYOTA warranty - it is a very expensive proposition.

But seriously, if any OEM makes wiring for Air Bags "edible" is that not a Safety Hazard ?
Should not all such vehicles be recalled and the wiring replaced FREE of any charge ?
Do complain to NHTSA if TOYOTA refused to fix your nibbled on vehicle !


Chew, Chew and now you are dead !

As if TOYOTA owners did not have enough problems with rodent damage to their vehicle's wiring harnesses, now TOYOTA will go even further:

In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, TOYOTA is switching over to a new type of rubber for engine hoses, called biohydrin. It's a synthetic rubber that is manufactured using plant-derived bio-materials (every rodent on Earth will just love this !!!) - instead of petroleum-based materials.

TOYOTA says the rubber hoses are similar in quality, but reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 20% over the life of the parts. (which will probably be a very short one !)

The first application of biohydrin will be for hoses used in engine intake system components, (so now your local mouse will be sucked INTO your engine - and possibly ruin it - de facto TOYOTA just invented perhaps the most expensive mouse trap)

But TOYOTA will not just stop there as it plans to expand the usage to other rubber components, like brake and fuel hoses.

So if sucking a mouse into engine will fail, well then you'll crash and burn, and that for sure will take care of the little pest - you family of course just might be a collateral damage and sacrificed to "maybe" kill just one rodent.

All TOYOTA vehicles made in Japan (and that includes LEXUS) will use the hoses by the end of 2016.

While all "wiring" damage usually occurs when the vehicle is parked, and thus your car quite often can not be started, the damage to fuel lines and brake lines may not occur until there is a "pressure" in those lines. And while a rodent may compromise them, they may not fail until when the vehicle is in operation.

Thus spaying fuel all over hot engine and exhaust, possibly causing fire, or make brakes non operational leading to almost certain crash.


So now you have even more reasons to fear, this time for your own life and that of your passengers!

HONDA

Plastic used for wiring insulation in HONDA cars is made from soy, thus attracting rodents.

HONDA has an official response on how to deal with rodents because it is an established problem. Service bulletins exist for the Odyssey and Accord models dealing with rodent damage to the knock sensor wiring harness.
Will they fix it for you FREE ?
Absolutely - NO !!!

HONDA however does since August 2010 offer after the fact "cure", an official HONDA Rodent-Deterrent Tape (P/N 4019-2317), reportedly for about US$40.00 per one 20 meter long roll that is 19 millimeter wide, available from any HONDA Dealer in USA!

UPDATE:

March 19, 2016
Vehicle owners with rodent damaged HONDAs have reported that in several states (California, Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, Idaho) the HONDA Dealers are out of the rodent deterrent tape and that they are told that it is on "National Back-Order", apparently the product is very popular, yet the same dealers that are "sold out" also claim they have never heard of any rodent damage !!! (interesting !)


SUBARU

Perhaps, because SUBARU vehicles feature full time four wheel drive, more of them are owned by people that live off the normal beaten path, thus may be that is why they are "eaten" more often!

However, usually the same vehicle owners, also have more than one car. Frequently they own older GM or FORD pick-up trucks, and even if parked next to each other, the SUBARU is always favored by the rodents over the older vehicles.

The damage to SUBARU cars is almost exclusively limited to under hood components, that range from wiring insulation to air filter housings, brake fluid caps and fuse box covers.


DaimlerChrysler

The miserable "marriage" of Daimler (makers of Mercedes-Benz and Smart vehicles) and Chrysler, while it lasted resulted in a perfect miscarriage:
DaimlerChrysler increased the use of renewable materials in some vehicles by up to 98% over previous models by using natural materials such as flax and abaca fibers.


Bridgestone

SUSTAINABLE TIRES ?

In the future the tires we drive on may no longer be made from rubber and oil!
Bridgestone just opened a new research center in Mesa, Arizona that will focus on extracting rubber from guayule shrubs.
Guayule is native to southwestern U.S. states and northern Mexico. The properties of guayule rubber are similar to natural rubber from hevea rubber trees.

This initiative is part of Bridgestone's long-term vision of manufacturing products from raw materials that are fully renewable and sustainable by 2050.
So in the not so distant future your tires may be attacked by rodents as well!

Currently, 90% of the world's natural rubber supply comes from hevea rubber trees grown in Southeast Asia.

JLR

Are they NUTS ?

In the near future the car panels like roof on may JLR (Jaguar and Land Rover) vehicles will be made from a composite that includes flax with an environmentally friendly cashew nut oil resin.

If that was not nuts enough, they have other projects that rodents world wide just can not wait to sink their teeth into !

One of these uses recycled plastic combined with filler sourced from the sugar refining process. They intend to make wheel arch liner from this material - yummy !

Need we say more ?


SOLUTION ?

Since most Dealers or Manufacturers will not fix any rodent damage FREE, and not every insurance policy will cover the damage, the ONLY solution as we have been advising the hundreds of people that have contacted us since this page was first published few years ago, is to file class action against the vehicle manufacturer.

Since that is beyond the economical means of most people, and majority of law firms will not do this "pro-bono" the OEMs so far were "safe" from any liability to the end customer.

But all that has finally changed on January 22, 2016 when Dobbs, Delaney and Rickard who are represented by Roy Arie Katriel of La Jolla, CA and Michael Braun of Los Angeles, CA initiated class action against American Honda.
The case is: Daniel Dobbs et al. v. American Honda Motor Co. Inc., case number 2:16-cv-00456, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Here is link to The Katriel Law Firm: (www.katriellaw.com).
Disclaimer: SynLube division of MIROX Corporation is in no way associated with the above Law Firm and we do not recommend their services, the link is provided only for convenience for affected HONDA vehicle owners that wish to contact them.

LINKS


Videos

Here are some links to "Rodent Damage" videos that were submitted to us:

Automotive News TV
TV News

This page is still under construction
Other makes and Brands of edible vehicles coming SOON !!!
under construction


If your vehicle has been damaged by rodents, send us a note or better yet a picture as well ! (Specify Make, Model, Model Year and City, State and if known approximate cost of required repairs as well as incident date).

Send E-mail to synlube@aol.com