A car without so much rat in it

Non-petroleum-based plastics! You gotta love ’em. There’s just this one little problem:

Shortly after the dawn of the new millennium, automakers started implementing bio-plastics made from corn starch, genetically engineered bacteria, or vegetable fats and oils. The rationale for this was that sustainably sourced materials were better for the environment and lowered dependency on petrochemicals. Unsurprisingly, bio-plastics gained in popularity at roughly the same time as ethanol.

Since at least 2010, soy-based bio-plastics have been a popular alternative for wiring insulation in automobiles. But there’s a problem — rodents love how it tastes. This has allegedly resulted in a surprisingly high number of owners reporting that rats chewed through the wiring inside their automobile.

While the problem isn’t entirely new, the frequency of the incidents appears to have been spurred by automakers using more palatable materials. In fact, the issue has grown so bad in recent years, numerous lawsuits have cropped up demanding manufacturers pay for damages.

And repairing a wiring harness is something you DIY at your own peril. What to do?

Our favorite reoccurring recommendation involves coating every single centimeter of wiring with hot sauce on a weekly basis.

That’s a whole lot of hot sauce. And it’d be just your luck, you end up with a strain of rats that live on sriracha.

1 comment

  1. fillyjonk »

    18 May 2018 · 2:24 pm

    For the love of all that’s good: why can they not mix denatonium benzoate (“Bitrex”) into it, or spray a coating of it on after? I can buy freaking nail polish remover that contains it so I am SURE it is not expensive.

    And I can attest that Bitrex, even if you wash your hands after using something with it, is nasty as heck.

    Or do rats not taste Bitrex? (There is a strain of thought that claims they can taste hot pepper and birds cannot, so you mix hot pepper into your birdseed to deter squirrels. My mom tried it, it didn’t work. Either she has South-of-the-Border squirrels, or the hot pepper idea is a lie)

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