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Man Gets EV Wiring Eaten by Rats, Gets Stuck With a $5,400 Repair Bill

Having your vehicle damaged by animals usually means bird droppings on its paint, right? Not exactly, because some animals, such as rodents, may decide to make their way into the vehicle to have a bite. Or a picnic. If you are unlucky enough, you may be left with the repair bill, as one driver has.
Damage done by rats to Kia e-Niro 19 photos
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This is not uncommon, and it may happen both in the city and in the countryside. Rodents may find their way even in a private garage, so you are not exactly safe unless you set traps, as well as apply deterrents to your vehicle.

Sadly, this driver we are writing about did not get the chance to do so and is now facing a massive EUR 5,000 ($5,437) repair invoice for his electric vehicle.

Now, this is not a Tesla Model S Plaid we are writing about, nor is it some exotic electric car. Instead, it is a Kia e-Niro, which had many components eaten by rats.

He acquired it as a second-hand car last year for EUR 27,000 (ca. $29,361), as owner Samil Sanal told Euronews. He used it for his job as an Uber driver, but could not do so since February, when his car left him stranded in front of his house in Lyon, France.

Unfortunately for Samil, his insurer, Axa, does not cover damage made by rodents inside a car. Moreover, the representatives of the company suggested that it is "preferable to park your vehicle, whenever possible, in a closed and secure space." Right, that's immensely helpful right now.

According to the report, the main wiring harness was the most expensive part that was eaten by rats. The current supply shortage in the industry will cause the replacement to arrive with a delay, and replacing each wire one by one is not an option because of the complexity of the work entailed.

Sanal reached out to Kia France, as he thought the manufacturer might help offset some of the costs of the repair or even have it covered under warranty. His request was denied, although the representatives noted that the issue is rare. That does not help, doesn't it?

Company representatives also noted that even the rear seatbelts were chewed up, and those are made of nylon, which is a material that is not biodegradable or plant-sourced, so the claimed situation of rodents being attracted to the insulating materials of the wiring has been ruled out from their perspective.

The company sent pictures of crumbs in the car to the folks over at Euronews and pointed out that the crumbs might have attracted the rodents all along. As Kia France noted, the warranty does not cover damage done by an "external attack."

Because Samil Sanal is an Uber driver who cannot use his car to work, he had to resort to finding a different job for a while. Unfortunately, he had had to borrow money to buy this vehicle and said he is not sure whether he has any guarantees this would not happen again once the car is fixed. The dealership that inspected the vehicle for the required work suggested using rodent repellents from now on.

The part that Samil cannot grasp is how two other vehicles placed next to his Kia were left unscathed. Euronews has reached out to CLEPA, the trade group representing automotive part suppliers, who responded to explain that all their materials are tested and designed to deter and resist misuse by humans or animals.

Moreover, the organization claims that there is no evidence that biodegradable materials used in modern cars are more tempting for animals such as rats, martens, mice, and more. Despite this, rats eating away expensive cables will not go away. If you happen to live near a forest, we suggest considering various pest repellent solutions to prevent this from happening to your vehicle.

Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery shows the Kia e-Niro's press photos.


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