Reports: Woodchucks feast on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s SUV wiring

Even House Speaker Paul Ryan isn’t immune from rodents chomping on his vehicle’s engine wiring.

At a speech Thursday in Washington, Ryan noted that a family of woodchucks had eaten away at the wiring on his Chevrolet Suburban over the winter, according to reports in the Washington Times and the Washington Examiner.

The Wisconsin Republican told the audience at the Economic Club of Washington that he hasn’t driven a car in three years and that he would have to buy a new vehicle after he discovered his Suburban was “eaten by animals,” the news sites reported.

Ryan said a family of woodchucks feasted on the Suburban while it was stored at his mother’s home in Wisconsin, the Times reported. Ryan said the SUV has been stored there since 2015, the year he became House speaker and was assigned a security detail.

According to the Washington Times article, Ryan’s mother went to Florida for the winter and when she returned the SUV wouldn’t start. It stated Ryan took the vehicle to a mechanic, who discovered the woodchuck damage.

Ryan, who isn’t seeking reelection, said he recently renewed his license and that he plans to buy a Ford F-150 pickup truck to replace the Suburban.

Rodents eating through wiring has been an issue for vehicle owners and a class-action lawsuit was filed in California in 2016 against Toyota Motor. 

More: Rats can’t resist wiring in newer cars: Here’s why

Last month, a federal court judge in California granted motions from Toyota to dismiss the lawsuit against the automaker seeking to force it to cover – under warranty – damage from rodents chewing through insulation for engine wiring that is now soy-based versus petroleum-based.

The lawsuit was dismissed without leave to amend, meaning it can’t be refiled.

However, Brian Kabateck, a Los Angeles attorney representing the plaintiffs, said
Thursday the case has been appealed.