Sask. woman finds manufacturer's defect let mice into new SUV

Sask. woman finds manufacturer's defect let mice into new SUV

Randelle Agrey travelled from Porcupine Plain to Saskatoon in September 2016 to buy a brand-new SUV for her growing family — two children, plus her and her husband, Keith.

The couple purchased a 2016 Chrysler Dodge Journey at Dodge City, drove it home and drove happily for several months, until a lingering smell turned into an unbearable stench.

The Agreys tore up the carpet behind the back seat and found a dead mouse.

"We chalked it up to this happened once, and it was a fluke," she said.

It wasn't a fluke.

A few months later, in October, Agrey found a chewed-up toilet paper roll in the driver's side door, covered with mouse droppings.

"That night I set two traps and, in the morning, I checked them before I went to work," said Agrey

"Both traps had mice and one was a deer mouse."

Agrey was alarmed, and worried for her two children, since deer mice are known to carry hantavirus, 

'I wasn't going to be messing around with this'

Agrey immediately called the Dodge Chrysler dealership where she was "met with resistance."

She says she was told to use laundry sheets and scented soap to deter mice from sneaking in again.

Instead, she filed an insurance claim through SGI.

"I have little kids that drive in this vehicle and a deer mouse was found. I wasn't going to be messing around with this," she said.

The SGI-contracted garage set traps in the Journey for a week and examined the vehicle. More mice were found, and the carpet had to be torn out.

Technicians found a hole in the body of the vehicle.

SGI staff also found a bulletin released by Chrysler in October 2016, stating all Dodge Journeys of that year were missing an undercarriage plug.

The vehicle has been in the shop for four weeks, and Agrey is on the hook for a $700 deductible.

On the hook for a pricey deductible

Agrey recently called the dealership in Saskatoon to make them aware of the situation.

She was told the plugs could have been fixed by the dealership, had she brought it in for regular maintenance.

"But I never knew the plug was missing, ever. I was never informed and the only way this was discovered was because I made a claim with SGI and they had to tear apart the vehicle to discover that was the issue," she said.

Agrey believes Chrysler — either the dealership, or the corporation — should pay her insurance deductible. 

"If the mice came in by any other means, which happens, I understand that and I would, of course, pay my deductible — no problem," she said.

"But if it was a missing piece from the manufacturer, which is the case, then absolutely Chrysler should pay."

A representative from Dodge City confirmed to CBC News that the dealership will not be paying Agrey's $700 deductible after investigating the situation.