Class lawsuit says Honda’s soy-based coatings attract rodents, charges company with breach of warranty
Jan 28, 2016 02:06 AM EST
Car owners from three states are suing carmaker Honda, claiming that the soy-based electrical wiring insulation in 2012-2015 models attract rodents that chew through it.
The lawsuit first reported by Courthouse News Service was filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Lead plaintiff Daniel Dobbs from Wyoming and car owners from Arizona and Texas sued Honda for breach of warranty.
Honda's 2012 - 2015 model electrical wiring is coated with biodegradable soy-based insulation that is purportedly more environmentally friendly and less expensive that plastic insulation. But the car owners complaint says that the soy-based insulation does have a downside.
One of the plaintiff says he took his 2014 Cross Tour to the dealer because the wiring was shredded through. The dealer found a live rabbit still chewing through the wiring of the vehicle. The repairs were not covered by warranty, and the car owner paid approximately $765 for the repairs.
Another plaintiff from Texas also says he saw a rabbit chewing the wiring in his Accord. He had to pay $500 after his vehicle's power steering wiring was chewed through. Honda refused to cover it under warranty.
The lawsuit says that the car owners were uninformed about the unintended and undesired consequence of the soy-based insulation material that it attracts rodents. The complaint states that the soy-based insulation was defective as rodents and other animals proceed to chew through the insulation and electrical wires that the insulation coats.
The lawsuit alleges Honda refuses to cover damages under its new vehicle limited warranty, despite provisions in the warranty said Honda will repair parts that are defective in material or workmanship, Legal News Line reported.
According to the Consumerist, there have been other reports about the rodent damage issue. In December 2015, car owners from Oklahoma and Toronto claimed rodent damage in their vehicles.
Daniel Dobbs and other plaintiffs claim that Honda is aware of the issue. The complaint says Honda actually sells rodent repellent tape used to wrap electric wiring in order to deal with the propensity of having the wiring chewed through by rodents and other animals attracted to the soy component of the wires.
Dobbs and others seek more than $5 million in actual damages, statutory damages, attorney fees and other costs of the suit. The claimants seek class certification for breach of express warranty and violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Michael D. Braun of Braun Law Group PC in Los Angeles, and by attorney Roy A. Katriel of The Katriel Law Firm PC in La Jolla.