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

TL;DR

The wiring in cars used to be coated in a petroleum-based plastic, but recently automakers, including Hyundai, have switched to a soy-based material. The soy is biodegradable and helps keep plastic out of the landfill (yay!). Unfortunately it also attracts rodents (boo!).

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

Hyundai Generations Where This Problem Happens

This problem has been reported by owners of the following generations. While there's no guarantee it affects all the listed model years, most years within a generation share the same parts, manufacturing processes, and problems.

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

    CarComplaints.com 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

More Information About The Affected Models

Hyundai Azera

PainRank
4.66
Complaints
79
Reliability
11th out of 25

Hyundai Equus

PainRank
4.67
Complaints
29
Reliability
12th out of 25