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Subaru Hit With Another Lawsuit; Its Forester Attracts Rats

Another lawsuit has been filed against Subaru; Its Forester attracts rats?

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Subaru can’t catch a break. Now they have another lawsuit filed against them for one of its vehicles attracting rats. Yes, you read that right, it’s true, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against the Japanese automaker for a Forester attracting rodents. They’ve had oil-consumption lawsuits, engine defects in the WRX/STI, spontaneous windshield breakage in Outback and Legacy models, and now a customer in Hawaii says her 2015 Subaru Forester attracts rats. Really?

According to a report by Hawaii News Now, there’s a new class-action lawsuit against Subaru Corporation alleging rats are attracted to certain car parts in the 2015 Forester. Maui resident Diane Shuey, discovered she had a fuel leak. The Hawaii resident took the Forester to her local Subaru dealer and they discovered the problem, rats had chewed through her vehicle's main fuel line. “They told me that thing could have caught on fire.”

Shuey says the problems with the rats have cost her more than $3,000 in repairs because “rat issues” are not covered by the vehicle’s new car warranty. She contacted an attorney who filed a class-action lawsuit last week charging Subaru with making a change to soy-based plastics for wiring insulation and fuel hoses that rats apparently find too tempting to pass up.

Subaru's local dealer declined comment on the specifics of the lawsuit, but instead issued this statement: "Our customers and their safety are our priority and, as we do with all vehicle complaints, our policy is to work with each customer to try to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.”

Shuey wants full refund for the car

Honolulu, Hawaii Attorney Chris Bouslog, who filed the suit said, the lawsuit seeks a full refund of the cars costs, since costs to replace each of the soy-based wires and hoses would be too extensive. Shuey says she's tried using rat traps “and all kinds of home remedies” to get rid of the rodents with no success. "It was a nightmare after just two months of driving this thing, and it has continued for two years, I love my Subaru. I'm so frustrated and I'm very disappointed in Subaru Corporation” says Shuey.

It’s an industry-wide problem

According to a report by Forbes, this is not an unusual problem and other automakers like Volvo have experienced the same problems with rodents eating soy-coated wires and causing extensive damage. It’s not just Subaru and Volvo, apparently Honda, Toyota and other automakers seem to be experiencing chewed up wires, too and it’s an industry-wide problem. In fact it’s such an auto industry problem, Consumer Reports even wrote a piece on “How to Protect Your Car From Rodents” article for consumers in July of this year.

Subaru Corp has been beset with other lawsuits and internal issues in Japan dealing with improper vehicle inspections. Now its Subaru Forester is being attacked by rats. Subaru can’t seem to catch a break.

Photo credit: Subaru

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Wilma (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 3:07PM

I have had 3 Foresters and never had a problem with rode d's. However, my daughter has a 1998 Toyota Camry which is parked next to my 2003 Forester. The Camray has had problem s with rodents eating the wires. So, anything can happen to any car. She has also had a nest of tree toads in the Camray air vent. Again, it is parked next to my Foresters every day.

David Bennett (not verified)    November 27, 2017 - 8:55PM

In reply to by Wilma (not verified)

This is the exact same thing that happened to our 2014 Forester. A mouse chewed thru our fuel line and the dealer refused to cover the repair. Total cost was over $300. We've always wondered how this could have happened. Makes sense now.

adrianc25 (not verified)    November 28, 2017 - 5:14AM

In reply to by David Bennett (not verified)

stop thinking like a child. the dealership didn’t refuse you anything. Subaru Corporation refused to authorize the warranty claim. do you really think the dealership refused free money in the form of warranty work? who do you think pays for the warranty work and parts? the dealership? give your head a shake, dealerships are franchises licensed to sell that brand of vehicle. the are not owned by subaru or ford or whom ever.

warranty work is paid by Subaru to the dealershi. and if it is not authorized by the corporation, and believe me the dealership tried to get it through the warranty because 1 it’s paid at full retail from subaru and 2 it keeps customers happy. they want you business again and who wants some moron like you getting all angry and in their face and spreading bullshit like this.

WowMe2 (not verified)    November 28, 2017 - 1:59AM

I Just bought a 2018 Forester XT. I have mice feces all over inside my car. I cannot find that darn things. I tore up my interior at 2,000 miles. This really sucks. My old 2011 Forester never had this problem. I put in dryer sheets and sticky traps, hopefully I can catch these mice. I Also found a YouTube video on a 2014 forester that had this issue and showed me how to place chicken wire on the rear vents. Mine seems to be coming from those rear vents too. Hopefully they haven’t chewed off any wiring that I cannot see...

SubieMice (not verified)    March 25, 2018 - 3:55AM

In reply to by WowMe2 (not verified)

My 2006 Forester, which I bought new in 2006 and it still runs like a champ, was invaded by mice several years ago. Our house is surrounded by a few acres of pasture, so mice are everywhere. I started trapping them in the car, but after killing a new mouse every other day for two weeks, I decided to solve the problem. At the next scheduled service interval I took it to my dealer, with whom I stay on very friendly terms, and *asked* if he could help. Not demanded, not not bitched, just asked in a friendly way. He said it wasn't covered under warranty, which I fully expected, but that he'd take a look and see what he could do. So while they had the car on the rack to do the regular service, they took a look and saw where the mice were getting in thru the rear vents. One of the techs then rigged up some screening to cover the vents. Voila, problem solved. Didn't even charge me for the extra work. (That was part of my strategy to get them to do it: ask them to look while the car was on the rack already. Made it easy to get a YES.)

I'm thinking about getting a 2019 Forester in October. Getting those vents screened will be part of the negotiation. I expect it to go well.

Dylan (not verified)    November 28, 2017 - 8:16AM

Hey lady I'll let you in on a little secret. All cars have soy based electrical connections. All cars have rodent problems. It's not uncommon. Put out traps or put some aroma shit in your car that you buy at the store to keep rodents away. Whatever shit box you decide to buy next will have the same problem if you still have rodents around.

Robin E (not verified)    November 28, 2017 - 9:39AM

Got a 2003 subaru baja Runs great no roaches ,rodents, or tree frogs ! 265,000 thou and is still the most dependable car I've ever owned ! If they make anouther one Ill buy it! Last car I had this good was a Subaru BRAT !

Melanie W (not verified)    March 23, 2018 - 7:58PM

In reply to by Robin E (not verified)

WOW your 03 must be made out of gold, because mine is a sh*t box. I am constantly adding oil. I've had the heads removed and gaskets fixed. Every time I talk to Subaru they said it's not their problem. It's been well maintained and taking care of. I love my car and can't afford to get a new one so I'm stuck. I just wish Subaru would quit telling me it's something I've done and that there's nothing wrong with it. Good luck

Cpola (not verified)    November 28, 2017 - 12:25PM parts. My 2010 Forrester's head gasket dissolved. Someone said it was because Japan was pushing manufacturers to use eco-friendly materials. Why they would make a head gasket out of biodegradable materials is beyond me. Same for any other critical components. Went from loving Subaru to hating them overnight.

Kat Rogers (not verified)    April 21, 2018 - 2:46PM

OMG! Just found this site. I have a 2014 Subaru Forester that has been eaten by rodents twice!! Fuel line first which I was told could have caused a fire, then literally ALL the wires throughout the car were chewed on. My car is currently in the show completely gutted. Subaru Dealer is being very through making sure All damage is fixed. And while it is not covered by warranty (which it should be considering) it IS covered by my auto insurance. Thank God for that!

Loyd Dille (not verified)    October 21, 2019 - 9:03PM

I have a 2018 Forester and just had in the shop because the eye sight and power steering quit at the same time. Found out that rodents had eaten off the coating on the wiring and the wiring was shorting out. Had to have portions of the wiring replaced.

william weldon (not verified)    April 10, 2020 - 11:01AM

Had two 2017 Subaru Foresters, rodent damage to one cost $300 plus reduced trade in value due to rodent damage in the engine compartment and wiring Forester #2 had reduced trade in value for the same reason. Then traded up to a 2018 Forester which in the first 10,000 miles was disabled due to rodent damage in the engine compartment and wiring. Traded Forester # 2 for a 2019 Outback. At approximately 9,000 miles rodent damage in the engine compartment and wiring disabled the vehicle with a repair bill of $3,780.00 Have tried various remedies such as peppermint oil spray and other rodent control sprays. In both the 2018 Forester and 2019 Outback I have cleaned the engine compartment at least monthly and in fact had done so to the Outback the day before it was again damaged.

MrCurlywhirly (not verified)    April 8, 2021 - 9:10PM

We have an '02 GT Forester, usually parked next to a VW Golf. I guarantee the rodents have there favorite chewing spots, though they are not that model specific. They have done more damage to the Golf, though they did force through the airflap on the GT in search of food. I have a few articles on the fix.
They LOVE the washer fluid and the washer hose on the VW, and the yellow cap on the washer bottle on the GT. Had to braid the hoses to stop that, which seems to have worked keeping them away. I think its a headache excluding rodents from cars, you cannot exterminate all the rats and mice, more will keep coming back following the scent, you need to be a bit creative blocking the channels they are coming through. ...maybe some wrap braiding on the fuel hose could help?

Stephen N (not verified)    March 27, 2022 - 12:10PM

Our 2016 Subaru Forester just got the rat problem. Took the car in because of an electrical failure. The estimate was $600. After three days and still no repair I was informed that rodents had entered the car and caused extensive damage. The new bill is $2700. I have been informed there is no warranty and no guarantee that I will not have this problem again. Why can't the manufactures make vehicles that do not allow the entry of mice, rats, frogs and whomever??
We all have enough bells and whistles to make the car run without a driver. How about the industry protecting us from outrageous costs of unnecessary repairs.?

Mrcurlywhirly (not verified)    March 28, 2022 - 9:12PM

In reply to by Stephen N (not verified)

I feel your pain, I'm also looking at well over $3k to sort just ONE problem on one of our cars, with no guarantee, so the only real future protection is building a fully pest sealed double garage. Manufacturers do not do anything about this as it costs money, which may impact their sales. While those of us experiencing rodent attacks on our cars are in the minority, nothing much will be done. I don't actually expect all manufacturers to rodent proof every vehicle, what I would like to see is the option for rodent proofing at an additional cost, as some of us live in areas where it is more likely than not that a rodent (..or many) will take up residence in the car. Every vehicle, unless its amphibious, has at least two entry points for rodents, the air intake to the cabin, and the pressure release in the rear bumper - the protection barrier their is either woeful or non existent. Keeping them out of the cabin alone from those points is hard enough though it is possible, it is not possible to keep them out of every nook in the car body, so a rodent protection kit should include extra shielding of the engine loom and washer tubes at a minimum.

Mark (not verified)    April 7, 2022 - 8:51PM

I have a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek. I have the same issue. Twice now mice have chewed through the vehicle’s engine wire harness. It’s not covered by warranty or insurance. $2,700 repair each time. And nothing helps. I’ve tried special tape, oils, moth balls, etc. nothing works. It’s a nightmare.

Joe Erwin (not verified)    August 6, 2022 - 12:22PM

My 2016 Subaru Forester just got a fuel leak from rodent chewing. My local shop fixed it, and it was not terribly expensive. I had the same problem with my 2002 Toyota Tacoma. No issues yet with our 2017 Subaru Forester. Did not have the problem with the 1999, 2002, 2005, or 2006 Foresters parked in the same place. There are a lot of squirrels and chipmunks running around out there.