An insured recently called to submit an auto insurance claim for $1,200 worth of damage to his vehicle. When he told us the damage was caused by another party we were hopeful the claim would be paid by the guilty party, but our hopes were dashed when we learned the guilty party’s identity for this strange insurance claim.
A Strange Insurance Claim = Rodents!
Things went downhill from there for all parties involved, when the insured learned the initial repairs proved insufficient. After closer inspection, his 2013 Toyota Prius was deemed totaled, thanks to the complete destruction of the car’s wiring, which is coated in a soy-based bioplastic. Wildlife, particularly rodents, are already attracted to motorists’ vehicles when they seek shelter. Now they have a new reason, as your car might prove to be a source of food.
Unfortunately, this is not a problem unique to the Prius, as many cars manufactured after 2008 have this soy-based bioplastic coating its wiring. The following is a list of known models which have this feature:
TOYOTA: 4-Runner (2011), Camry (2009-11), Highlander (2009) Prius (2010-13), RAV4 (2008-11), Tundra (2009-11), Venza Ltd. (2010)
KIA: Cadenza, Forte, Optima, Rio, Sedona, Sportage, Sorrento, Soul (2012-17)
HYUNDAI: Accent, Azera, Elantra, Equus, Genesis Coupe, Santa Fe, Sonata, Tucson, Veloster (2013-17)
HONDA: All models (2012-15)
Even more, unfortunately, soy-based wiring can also be sometimes found in American cars like Ford, Chevrolet & Dodge, as well as European vehicles like the BMW and Porsche. In other words, if you own a vehicle manufactured after 2008 you should look into whether your vehicle might be exposed to this previously uncontemplated risk, and seek preventative measures if necessary. Your auto coverage will cover your repairs, but preventative measures still cost less than your deductible.
Step Number One – Determine if you have a rodent problem.
Below is a 5-minute test developed by Rat King Dave.
The 5 Minute Check That Can Save Your Car (and your sanity?)