Hyundai's Soy Wiring Is a Little Too Eco-Friendly

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#lawsuit #electrical
A hamster holding a record in front of a green Kia Soul, from an advertising campaign.

OK, now this advertising campaign makes more sense

The problem is it also grabbed the attention of rodents, who use the chew the material and often use the scraps for nests.

The Soy-Based Lawsuit

Hyundai was sued for using soy-based wire insulation by a group representing 2013-2016 Hyundai Veloster, Accent, Azera, Elantra, Equus, Genesis Coupe, Santa Fe, Sonata and Tuscon owners purchased or leased in California.

The case, Michelle Martinez v. Hyundai Motor America, Inc., argues that when an owner takes their vehicle in for repairs due to the chewed wires, the gnawed materials are replaced with more soy-based materials. A vicious ciricle ensues, and owners can spend thousands of dollars just keeping their cars running.

The plaintiff says rodents chew on numerous parts of Hyundai vehicles, including the hood insulation, battery wiring assembly and harness, filter assembly for the engine, wiring assembly and battery shims.

An Industry Wide Problem

Honda, Toyota, Kia, and Subaru are all facing similar lawsuits.

Generations Where This Problem Has Been Reported

This problem has popped up in the following Hyundai generations.

Most years within a generation share the same parts and manufacturing process. You can also expect them to share the same problems. So while it may not be a problem in every year yet, it's worth looking out for.

Further Reading

A timeline of stories related to this problem. We try to boil these stories down to the most important bits so you can quickly see where things stand. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts for your vehicle over at

  1. Hyundai is being sued for using soy-based wire insulation that attracts rabbits, mice, squirrels and other creatures.

    The Hyundai lawsuit alleges the automaker denies there is a problem by using the soy-based wiring and since no defect exists, any replacement parts will also consist of soy products.

    The soy-based materials are more biodegradable and generally cost less than their plastic counterparts.…

    keep reading article "Rodents Are Attracted to Hyundai’s Soy-Based Wire Coating"

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, here's a handful of things you can do to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint
  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify The CAS
  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA