According to NBC Washington, the lawsuit alleges that a soy-based insulation used in numerous Toyota vehicles manufactured between 2012 and 2016 is an irresistible bait for rodents such as rats, mice, and squirrels. The rodents, once attracted by the tasty wiring, then chow down - costing car owners thousands of dollars in repairs.
"Toyota is refusing to repair these cars under warranty, and these are also expensive repairs," Benjamin Johns, lead attorney on the lawsuit, told NBC Washington. "There are real damages here, and we're trying to get, at a minimum, these kinds of repairs covered by the warranty."
Toyota told NBC Washington that it couldn't comment on the pending lawsuit, but in an official statement a spokesperson said, "Rodent damage to vehicle wiring occurs across the industry, and the issue is not brand- or model-specific."
Honda, which is facing its own rodent-related lawsuit, agreed with Toyota's statement.
"The facts that rodents are drawn to chew on wiring in homes, cars or anywhere else significantly predates the introduction of soy-based wiring by several decades," said a Honda spokesperson.
Rodent damage is a relatively common threat to cars, especially in rural areas, but one that consumers rarely think about. Seriously, who expects mice to crawl up into your engine compartment and snack on your battery cables and vacuum lines? Well, Audi for one, as their campaign against the predations of stone martens proves.