Rats! Tesla Won't Pay for Rodent Damage to Cars: Report

Evidently, Tesla wiring is wrapped with soy insulation, and rodents find it yummy.

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Maybe Tesla should offer a free cat with every new car purchase. LOL

The insulation is"green"… the rats are the owner’s problem.

Mercedes had that problem in the '90s, you’d think other makers would be aware of it:
Soybean / Biodegradable engine wire harness on 91 - 94 models? | Mercedes-Benz Forum (benzworld.org)

So does GM, Toyota and Ford…an almost every other major automotive manufacturer.

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Several manufacturers have had this problem for years now…and as far as I know they haven’t addressed it yet.

Some state I remember tried soybeans I think for licence plates. They stopped that after too many problems with dogs eating the plates.

I agree that Tesla shouldn’t have to pay for animal damage – no other manufacturer does. But I wonder why the soy-wire folks can’t find some foul-tasting chemical to impregnate into the insulation so that it isn’t so tempting to rodents.


That would be the logical way to do it and like you I also wonder why they are not doing it.

I agree 100%. But it’s really not the auto manufacturer that’s doing this…it’s the wire supplier.

Does Your Car Have Wiring That Rodents Think Is Tasty? | News | Car and Driver

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Yeah…or maybe some habanero laced soy insulation or something… New and improved. I’m liking your thinking here.


Why don’t they all stop using soy based wire insulation. It can’t be all that much cheaper to put up with this.


You could argue that the wire constitutes a “defective part” but, as I’ve mentioned previously, you don’t get to be a successful car company by accepting responsibility.

Rodents like to munch on PEX pipe, too.

Agreed. I probably could have been clearer in specifying that “soy wire folks” meant the company making the wires, not the car company.

It’s not an issue of cheap, it’s an issue of environmentalism. Soy wire is made with renewable resources. Regular wire insulation is made from oil. I think this is going to follow a similar track as when they stopped using lead in car paints. At first, it sucked because the reformulated paint didn’t stick very well, and you’d see people driving around with giant patches of paint simply missing. But then they got the formulas right, and paint is just as good now as it ever was.

At some point someone with the power to change things will actually listen to an engineer telling them to put deterrent in the insulation. Once that happens, new wire will probably be better than old wire. After all, even though the petroleum insulation isn’t as tempting as the soy insulation, we still occasionally got rodents gnawing through it, apparently just for the hell of it. Lace the insulation with something revolting and we won’t have that problem anymore at all.


You make a good point on rodents gnawing stuff just for kicks. I wonder if the soy wiring is actually more prone to attracting rodents than the regular insulation. I’ve had two family members that I can recall having rodent damage, and as far as I know, neither vehicle had soy wiring (one was a 2004, the other an 87). Makes sense that the soy would be more edible than the petroleum, but it’s always been an issue.

Squirrels (which are just fuzzy tree rats with cute tails anyway) will gnaw on random stuff, apparently to sharpen their teeth. I was in the woods once and heard a pretty loud sound I’d never heard before. Walked towards it, looked up at a tree branch, and saw something that didn’t look familiar…at all. Kind of round and shiny on one end, furry on the other. I thought the chupacabra’s had migrated notheast for a minute. Upon further inspection, a squirrel had found an old turtle shell and was gnawing on the rounded part. The open end of the shell faced out and acted like a megaphone. I really couldn’t wrap my head around what that was at first lol!

Maybe he was after the calcium in the shell, maybe he was sharpening his teeth, or maybe he was just doing it for funsies.

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It’s not so much that they are ATTRACTED. Rodents will blindly chew on anything. If they find something they like then they keep chewing. If they don’t like it then they stop. Soy is appealing to them. But they have no way of knowing what vehicle has Soy or petroleum based wire coating until they start chewing.


squirrels chewed up the second set of string patio lights on our pergola

they tore the first set into multiple shreds, some only few inches long, a week later the second one was attacked and torn in 3 sections

both sets had PVC insulation from the looks/smell, so indeed they chew blindly and they seem to simply like the consistency of that insulation

their shrink told them they needed electro- shock therapy. lol

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How about if Elon Musk declares rats Public Enemy #1?