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Mouse nest found in brand new car - long term issues?

Last week my mom leased a new Infiniti QX30, brought it home and on the way noticed the AC/fan was really loud and vibrating the dash when turned all the way up. She had to leave town the next day to go have surgery. When she was back and recovered enough to be able to deal with it, she took it to the dealer. They discovered a rodent’s nest in the engine, which they removed (and gave to her for safe keeping, funny enough).

I am of the opinion, that a NEW car should not come with a “friend”, however I also understand that swapping it out after the 3 day period is difficult for the dealer. So my question is, if there are not any electrical or other issues apparent at the moment, does that mean all is okay? Or could issues arise in the future because of the rodent? The manager told her that if issues came up in the future, they wouldn’t be under warranty because caused by a pest and that her homeowner’s insurance would cover it (??) So I just want to make sure she didn’t just lease a NEW car with issues that aren’t going to be covered under warranty, by no fault of her own, and then she’s stuck with Homeowner’s deductible and fighting with them…

Any insight would be very much appreciated - thank you!

I agree

Did they do a thorough inspection and check all of the wiring and connections at the dealership? If they did and didn’t find anything chewed up, then you’re probably ok

I’ve got no idea about that one…Did they confess to the nest having been built by the mice while it was on the lot or did they imply that that happened once you brought it home? If they admitted it happened while it was on the lot, then it should’ve been taken care of before your mom drove it off…

I think the thing to do is find a good independent shop and pay them to inspect the vehicle for signs of damage. If nothing found then drive on. Damage found then this is a legal problem but I would contact the corporate number in the owners manual.

Thanks so much for your response! I assume they did an inspection, though I don’t know how thorough since she was there waiting and it wasn’t a long period of time. She hasn’t experienced any electrical issues since having the nest removed. They obviously did not inspect the vehicle before giving it to her, or they would have seen the issue. They actually didn’t even fill it up with a full tank of gas!

The GM insinuated yesterday to her that it could have happened at her house, but there is no way since she experienced the vibrating dash as she was driving home from the lot. She just too much to deal with leaving town for surgery the next day to turn around and take it back immediately. She certainly never imagined a critter was under the hood…

That is a great suggestion and I will pass along to her - I agree completely. And great idea about contacting corporate phone number :slight_smile: I will pass that along to her as well!

The possibility exists that a rodent (or more than one) could be hanging around in the car for age and damage can occur at anytime in the future. There is simply no way of knowing.

Recently the ABS light on my car started flashing. While digging around I found signs of mice. I set a couple of traps out and caught several over the next few weeks. I’m pretty sure the ABS light is related to the rodents although I haven’t tracked the problem down yet.

Several more weeks went by with nothing and then last week I found a recently constructed mouse nest in the spare tire well. Made out of insulation of course. Traps have been out for a few days with nothing yet.

The manager is correct; any issues will not be a warrantable repair. Maybe your mother should contact corporate Infiniti about this and try to work out a deal for another car rather than roll the dice.
Good luck on that homeowners policy…

In that case, I would second what @VOLVO_V70 said above: [quote=“VOLVO_V70, post:3, topic:102923”]
I think the thing to do is find a good independent shop and pay them to inspect the vehicle for signs of damage. If nothing found then drive on.

She’s leasing a 2016 model? I bet that model sat on the lot for months before your mom got it…I wouldn’t be surprised if the nest was made on lot. I also wouldn’t be surprised if (given how short they had it) they didn’t do a thorough inspection.

I agree on homeowner’s policy nightmare, (and that actually seems like some form of insurance fraud on the dealer’s part for them to shirk responsibility on a car they sold with a rodent in the engine, and then expect her Homeowner’s policy to pick up the damage).

I think she definitely should contact corporate Infiniti, and also have an independent 3rd party mechanic take a look at it as well.

Thanks so much for taking the time to help me out!

No insurance fraud here. The factory warranty will not cover rodent damage. Impossible to prove when nest was built. The dealer has guidelines to follow and only corporate can approve anything different.

When contacting corporate just state clear facts, don’t get sidetracked blaming dealer .

I understand that factory warranty won’t cover, it just seems wrong on an ethical level for them to sell a car with a rodent’s nest and then expect HO policy to cover it, when it didn’t happen on her property. But I do understand it is hard to prove where it happened, since she was not able to return it immediately. So noted about not blaming dealer when talking to corporate, good advice. Thx! :slight_smile:

I’m all for throwing the book at the dealer. I don’t know how well that’ll work out.

I found a rodent’s nest on top of my air cleaner, lots of droppings and the inedible bits of their diet, but no damage. It’s a 30-year-old pickup, so I’m unpicky. I’d think they wouldn’t stoop to eating insulation, etc., until they couldn’t find any real food.

Perhaps it’s worthwhile to open the hood before you drive it off the lot. Perhaps you could accompany her next time. My mother would have benefited from help her last car purchase, but I was far away.

Other than a visual inspection of the engine compartment, this isn’t something I’d spend any time worrying about. It’s a fool’s errand. Wherever the car is parked now, and wherever it is parked in the future, there will be a few rodents hanging around.

The only thing you have going for you is the amount of time to create whatever damage is found. Damage doesn’t happen overnight. Get the car inspected for rodent damage. This will consist mainly of chewed wire insulation and other plastic parts. If the mouse chewed through a plastic housing to get into the AC duct, it had to take days if not weeks to occur. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that it occurred on Mom’s driveway. It can be repaired, and should be repaired at the dealer’s expense, probably through his insurance. I bought a new car with a damaged wiring harness. How did I know? The salesman volunteered the information when I asked why the car was so cheap. The repairs were made before I stepped on the lot. I bought the car and it has not had any electrical problems. If Mom asks for repairs, she should get them. One more thing: I’m curious about how she did not notice this before she bought the car. Did she take it for a test drive? I seems to me that she would have noticed it then.

I have asked her to have it inspected by a 3rd party to assess for damage (and look for creatures that maybe haven’t vacated the premises yet!) As far as test drive, the noise was only apparent with the fan on the highest speed, which I guess she did not doing during the test drive. It’s a leased vehicle, so I’m hoping that there isn’t any damage, and she can enjoy it for a couple of years, turn it in, and move on. The fellow I spoke to today at the dealership said if there were electrical issues from chewing, they would be there already, not something that would develop over time. But he works for the dealer, so I wanted the opinion from others who are a bit more objective.

That was very honest of the salesman to give you that information about the wire harness, that is definitely a dealership I would continue to do business with!

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond and for your input!

Not necessarily true. Mice or rats don’t eat the wire, they chew on the insulation. Exposed wires corrode much quicker and problems may not show for months or even years.

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Good to know! That was what I was wondering. I don’t want her to accept a car now and then in a year+ have expenses to pay for because the car she was sold as “new” really wasn’t… she would not have any recourse at that point, and a warranty that wouldn’t cover the repairs, which is kind of the point of leasing a car to begin with…

Maybe he was honest because they were going out of business. I bought the car in May of 2009, a few weeks before this dealership closed. This was one brand of many that the company owned, and maybe he was looking to the next time I buy a car. The latter is a more pleasant thought. I’ll go with that one.

Yes, I would be concerned about potential electrical problems that might crop-up in the near future, but I would be much more concerned about the possibility of contracting Hantavirus from the feces and/or urine that the mice may have left in the HVAC duct, and that could be spewed into the car’s interior. I wouldn’t drive the car without wearing a surgical mask until the HVAC system has been sanitized.

Wow - that’s crazy - and scary! Thanks for that information!

You’re welcome.
And, I might add that the Spring season is the prime time for the spread of Hanta infections.