House Speaker Paul Ryan: ‘My car was eaten by animals’

How much truck could a woodchuck chuck? An entire Chevy Suburban

This week on the rodents-eating-car-innards beat, our furry friends have settled on a high-profile victim: U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin.

Our story takes place back in Ryan's hometown of Janesville, located in the snowy farmlands just north of the Illinois state line off Interstate 90, the site of a shuttered GM assembly plant. Ryan's mother is apparently a snowbird, and when she returned to her home there after spending the winter in Florida, she discovered that her son's Chevrolet Suburban wouldn't start. Ryan, who is assigned a security detail and isn't allowed to drive himself, has been storing the rig at mom's house. He filled in the rest after speaking about Republican policies and the economy on Thursday. NPR has the money quote:

"My car was eaten by animals," Ryan said, to laughs from an audience at an event hosted by the Economic Club of Washington D.C. "It's just dead."

Ryan said he had the Suburban towed to the dealer for service, where mechanics discovered that a family of woodchucks had taken up residence in the underbody and had eaten through the wiring, rendering it useless.

A federal judge in California recently dismissed a class-action lawsuit against Toyota, filed by owners of certain Toyota vehicles equipped with soy-based wiring insulation.

In the spirit of public service, Autoblog offers this timeless video from 2014 (also embedded below) on how to store your vehicle for long periods of inactivity. There's also this piece on how to stop rabbits and rodents from causing havoc on your ride.

Ryan, who has been in Congress since 1999 and took over as speaker in 2015, announced earlier this year he would not run for re-election this fall, meaning he will step down in January 2019. He said he plans to renew his license after he retires, but not to drive the refurbished Suburban: He plans to swap it for a new Ford F-150 truck.

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