Critters in your car, check often for damage

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Lisa Barrett went to start her truck a few weeks ago it was completely dead, so she had it towed.

"The mechanic had noticed some definite mouse damage, that there were some wires chewed. All through here the mice had been eating," said Lisa Barrett.

More than $400 later, the wires were repaired. Lisa is not alone. Look online and you will see just how badly furry critters are behaving.

"Looks like a rat or a mouse or something lived in there."

"We've noticed lots of complaints about rodents chomping their way through car wires, causing huge headaches for car owners," said Jon Linkov.

In fact, class action lawsuits filed against Toyota and Honda claim vehicles are defective because soy-based materials are being used to cover wires - making them attractive to rodents. The lawsuits also claim the car companies should be responsible for the cost of repairs.

Honda sells rodent-deterrent tape treated with spicy capsaicin, the active component in chili peppers - a fact the lawsuit claims is an acknowledgment of the defective nature of the soy-based material.

So what can you do to prevent rodents from eating your car wires?

"If your car sits in the street or garage for a while it's a good idea to often check under the hood for rodent damage. If you do spot some, you can use rodent tape to install over the damaged wires to protect from future damage. Also, if you do see an area where rodents can come in such as a ventilation area, you can ask your mechanic to install wire mesh like this," said Linkov.

As for Lisa, she hopes this never happens again.
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