What's Your Verdict?

Submitted: Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 22:31
ThreadID: 136226 Views:5289 Replies:10 FollowUps:13
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In summary:
Rat eats wire in engine bay of new vehicle;
A professional repair has been effected;
Toyota wants to totally replace wiring at a cost of $3500 or they won't cover warranty on linked parts;
Insurance won't cover repairs.

Personally I think Toyota should use common sense - check the repair, sign off on it if they're satisfied, and cover warranty.

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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 22:46

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 22:46
I would not have considered attacks by wildlife to be a warranty claim. I see it just like cattle rubbing up along the side and denting the doors.

I think you should have tried for an insurance claim.
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 22:59

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 22:59
Better read the link Peter, it's all explained there. I'm not involved and the warranty issue concerns the repair not the initial damage. Most insurance doesn't cover vermin damage.
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Follow Up By: baznpud - Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 09:12

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 09:12
Agree with Peter, if your Insurance Company doesn't cover the damage, you are insured with the wrong Company.
I'm a retired Insurance Broker and have had clients make claims of this type, and they have been paid.
Go caravaning, life is so much shorter than death.

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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 04:48

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 04:48
I can understand Toyota's point of view, it's a new vehicle, a lot of sensors involved. It's a bit like me building a special purpose machine for a manufacturing business and rats chew the wiring, why should I warrant the machine that has a 20 year potential lifespan. Reliability and potential safety hazards could see me in court at some stage if I signed off on someone else's repair. As far as insurance goes, if a bush fire burnt the vehicle out, it would be covered. The fire could have been started by lightning, that would be classed as an act of God. So I don't see the difference in type of damage. The owner insured it so he doesn't have major cost outlays if something happens to it beyond his control. As only one injector is involved, maybe take the chance on the current repair or pay the Toyota bill and move on. Michael
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Reply By: Candace S. - Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 06:24

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 06:24
This is very interesting to me, as I have had personal experience with animal damage to my wiring...

In July 2015, my five-month old (!) Jeep Wrangler broke down in the Colorado mountains. It was eventually delivered to the nearest Jeep dealer.

It turned out that an animal had chewed through some wires in the rear of the vehicle. However, the dealer also had to replace the TIPM (a computer). So its not clear whether the computer went bad and the chewing occurred during the two days the Jeep sat awaiting recovery. Or if the wires were chewed and then somehow that fried the computer.

The "comprehensive" part of my auto insurance paid for the wiring repairs, no questions asked. And the wiring repairs were done at the dealer.

So far, no problems related to the repair. Which is good becuase I don't know if Chrysler guarantees the work. My insurance company doesn't guarantee the work because it wasn't done at one of their selected repair shops (note this was not explained to me at the time!).

I've wondered if this sort of thing happens very often in Oz. This is the first time I've heard of vehicle wiring or other parts being damaged by an animal. (Obviously, collisions with wildlife are a big issue outback!)

Here, marmots (probably the animal that got my Jeep) are notorious for chewing up wiring, brake lines, etc. I don't know specifics, but certainly in Colorado every summer, a certain number of people become victims.

Marmot / Porcupine Blues

Other rodents may also chew on vehicles, or at least nest somewhere in them, especially if they're left parked for a long time (e.g., over the winter, in parts of the country with lots of snow/ice).

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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 07:43

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 07:43
We've had it happen a few times over the years and several times with other vehicles in the group, not uncommon in my experience and quite often the rats have targeted the newest vehicle in the group. A couple of times in the VHC we've had brand new Toyota's faced with green coolant puddles under the vehicle after coolant hoses and header bottles have been chewed through overnight.
Also had wiring chewed as well as rubber brake lines. Best to put napthalene blocks under the vehicle of a night if worried about it, that's what we do on the farm to keep them out of the tractors and machinery.
In cold weather they head for the warmth and sometimes just the new plastic and rubber components.
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 09:25

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 09:25
Possibly a good idea to "lift the bonnet" when camped in areas where rats might be prevalent as they seem to like warm engine bays.

That aside, from a warranty perspective on the new car, I'd save the $3,500 by keeping it in my pocket. I suspect it doesn't void the entire vehicle warranty, and if there is an injector problem it may not void the warranty depending on what caused the problem in the first instance.

Realistically, most modern vehicles that are well maintained suffer little issue within the warranty period or after it for that matter (and yes, there will be some!).

In military parlance "one problem at a time 'Sarge" - forking at $3,500 now, as suggested in the article by Toyota to maintain the warranty on the injectors, is akin to paying an insurance premium on a policy that you may never use...

That equates to roughly $1,200 a year on a basic three year warranty. I'd be happy to "underwrite" that myself if it was my vehicle.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 12:16

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 12:16
I'd take the risk myself, but i see Toyota's position, they are simply replacing the part that is damaged. They are not looking at the cost from the owners viewpoint. Michael
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 13:03

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 13:03
Well Toyota has no option to warranty ancillary parts - it is the law.

If a part failed and it can be shown it is linked to the repaired wiring then Toyota legally does not have to warrant the part but the repairs to the wiring are not related to the failure then Toyota still has to provide warranty - whether they like it or not.

First insurance should cover this but I suspect the cost of repair is less than the excess.

Secondly Toyota still has to warrant parts and it will be up to them to prove that the repair cause issues if failure of other parts occurs.

People - learn you consumer rights or these car companies will walk all over - the ACCC has sorted out a few over the past year and you would think the others would learn - they have to honour their warranties under the terms of the law not their conditions.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 13:11

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 13:11
Garrycol, This issue was also posted on another forum in more detail. The Insurance Policy does not cover damage caused by vermin, so they are not liable.

However, agree totally with your other comments regarding warrantee issues.


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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 13:23

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 13:23
Relax gents, he doesn’t have a problem. If his injector’s fail then he can argue the toss, until then (if ever) I’d just get Out & About and have fun...!

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 23:01

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 23:01
In the end that's what I'd be doing Baz. Assuming a proper fix has been done it's unlikely to be the cause of subsequent failure of an injector, esp within the warranty period. Wrap the repair up so there's zero chance of contamination, get it checked regularly if he's concerned, and keep the three and a half grand in the bank (it's wire and connectors, not a pacemaker).
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Follow Up By: Member - nick b boab - Wednesday, Feb 07, 2018 at 19:29

Wednesday, Feb 07, 2018 at 19:29
My personal opinion would be that Toyota would wipe any warranty due to the fact that there is damage to the wiring loom
Irrespectively on how good the job may be or what someone's opinion maybe.
Cheers Nick b

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Reply By: ctaplin - Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 11:19

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 11:19
I live on a rural property in FNQ and also have had under bonnet wiring chewed on both our vehicles. I had to resolder in new wires, colour by colour on one of the looms. It also chewed my Redarc dual battery wiring, taking the insulation of the thick red cable that is live when the vehicle is stationary. I now have wax rodent baits cable tied throughout the engine bays, which have been nibbled at, but fortunately no further damage to wiring...
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Reply By: swampy - Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 13:11

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 13:11
Have the loom repaired even if a part from the wreckers ,to keep all the wire colour & connectors the same as originally fitted.

There maybe a engine loom connector or bulkhead connector ??

Its absurd Toyota is holding a gun to there head over this .

Plenty of broken wires in heavy industry that get repaired and no ill effects to warranty on any associated component .

If Toyota did not cover this by repair , unfortunately just another Toyota moment .
Not much else on the market but Toyota Australia just don't even hide there arrogance these days .
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Reply By: Hoyks - Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 17:58

Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 at 17:58
Is it Toyota or the dealer?

In my experience some dealers can be complete tools and their recommendations/advice are often not backed by information coming from head office. Its all a bit stupid in this day and age, you aren't dealing with isolated owners that have to accept what you tell them, online communities are more than happy to call BS when they see it and it doesn't do your brand much good to go viral.

I camped at Tinaroo Dam and a brand new Triton had its wiring eaten and went to Atherton on a tilt tray. Maybe its a new car smell thing?

The Ranger there recommended a few small LED's be installed in the engine bay as the white tail rats like to move in because its nice, warm and dark.

No vermin exclusion with CGU BTW. (pg 20) https://www.cgu.com.au/sites/default/files/media/2e97a085-1079-4d05-90f3-52b0cba8f83f.pdf
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Wednesday, Feb 07, 2018 at 11:45

Wednesday, Feb 07, 2018 at 11:45
Common occurrence at Tinaroo. The white tailed rats wont come near a light. Smart people leave an led on under the car and outside on ground around tents. I think they associate the light with human activity and thus avoid the area.
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Reply By: Member - nick b boab - Wednesday, Feb 07, 2018 at 19:34

Wednesday, Feb 07, 2018 at 19:34
I checked with my insurance company today to check & ask them about the vermin etc exclusion policy. they said that home contents insurance has it but not vehicle .
I guess you pay for what you get .....
Cheers Nick b

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Follow Up By: gbc - Thursday, Feb 08, 2018 at 10:18

Thursday, Feb 08, 2018 at 10:18
Be careful what you call vermin. Your home insurance won't cover termite damage, nor will it cover damage caused by an animal kept at the premises in most cases.
We had to knock back a claim once where a horse had gotten into the house paddock while the owners were away. The bloody thing ate all the glazing beads, putty and parts of the timber out of every (red cedar) window and door in the single level home.
I can see Toyota's point of view, there's zero guarantee something else wasn't chewed as well and if it manifests itself as a catastrophic failure in 3 years time why the hell should they warrantee it? Repairing a couple of wires something is completely different to guaranteeing an entire system.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Feb 08, 2018 at 11:26

Thursday, Feb 08, 2018 at 11:26
'gbc' makes a valid point about "Toyota's point of view". Sure, it's just a "couple of wires" and if properly repaired they would be as good as new.
BUT, Mr Toyota has been caught before...... customers have not revealed the full story etc. and still expect warranty cover, so Toyota opt to cover their backside and restore the vehicle to original status...... in all cases, regardless of circumstances.
Toyota use genuine parts and restore to original, because customers expect that of their warranty.

However, under the warranty contract, the owner is required to "service the vehicle to the manufacture's standard" which is not hard to do if you go about it the right way. Proper repair of the wires and careful inspection of the area for other damage can be achieved inexpensively and recorded so that in the event of a warranty claim for any other issue, it can be evidenced that the vehicle has been "serviced to the manufacture's standard". There may still be the need to convince Toyota of that, but that is the peril of commerce.

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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Feb 09, 2018 at 23:02

Friday, Feb 09, 2018 at 23:02
Allan, garrycol nailed the point further up. This is the great myth that the dealers like to push that ONLY dealer repairs (and servicing btw) will be covered in the warranty. Basically "if it isn't done by us the warranty is void"

Total BS, and actually in breach of Australian Consumer Law. As long as the repairs or servicing are performed by a qualified / ceritifed mechanic or auto electrician, then it does not void the warranty. If an auto electrician was able to repair the loom and certify it, then Toyota can't insist the whole loom is replaced otherwise the warrany is void.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Feb 10, 2018 at 10:01

Saturday, Feb 10, 2018 at 10:01

I hope others do not mis-interpret what I said as you seem to have done.

I did NOT say that the "warranty is void" if repairs are not done by the dealer. It is not a "myth" that I believe, as you seem to imply.


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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Feb 11, 2018 at 23:50

Sunday, Feb 11, 2018 at 23:50
I'm surprised the wiring damage wasn't enough to write the vehicle off! - it takes so little, with todays highly-complex vehicles, to initiate a Statutory Write Off.
FYI, damage to virtually all wiring in todays vehicles is a SAFETY-RELATED issue.

The entire wiring harness in every vehicle today is interconnected via a CANBUS.

In other words, every microprocessor and every sensor and every electronic control device in a vehicle, is capable of, and does communicate, with the main ECU, and often with each other.

As a result, damage or "non-factory" wiring repairs can lead to issues whereby safety devices fail to activate as planned.

Yes, I know it was damaged injector wiring - but who knows how safety devices or other important electrical control devices in the vehicle are connected through that wiring repair?

Without studying the entire vehicle wiring harness, and the entire vehicle electronic programming, in fine detail - one can't be sure that there's no possibility of a safety device (e.g. - airbags) in the vehicle being affected at some time in the future, due to a failed electrical signal caused by the wiring repair not doing its job.

If you purchase a vehicle stickered with an SWO - you CANNOT RE-USE a single electrical component of any kind, from that SWO vehicle, in any other vehicle - even if all the wiring and components from the written-off vehicle look completely undamaged.

This is because electrical and electronic components can have unseen damage that affects their proper operation.

Toyota are covering their ar$e$ legally here, in case the vehicle is sold to an unsuspecting buyer, and suffers an electrical failure that results in a crash, an injury or a fatality, due to some electrical component in the vehicle not functioning as designed.

If Toyota cover a "non-factory" electrical repair, and injury or a death comes out of that repair - even 20 years down the track - then some smart lawyer would be right onto the "faulty" or "non-factory" repair.

The bottom line is, it shouldn't cost $3500 to replace the affected section of wiring harness. I consider that is a major rort.

Cheers, Ron.
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