Owner of rodent-damaged car proves necessity is the mother of invention

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In Granite Falls, Washington, one car owner has invented a special barrier to keep mice from munching on the soy-based components of his 1991 Acura NSX.

Rodent damage to biobased car components—mainly wiring—have been a widespread problem in recent years and spurred a handful of class-action lawsuits alleging the parts are faulty and should be covered by warranties.

Tom Sharp tells the Bellingham Business Journal that he got the idea for the barrier after watching a show about origami. The problem has been ongoing and expensive, he adds. “[M]ice have been attacking my car for 25 years,” Sharp said. “It’s been quite annoying, frustrating and costly. I’ve probably spent $2,500 just on cleaning to get the stink out and it’s never entirely out.”

His prototype has kept mice out for several months while his car was parked in his garage, and a visit to a rodent farm further proved efficacy. “It’s not a rocket-science answer to the problem. It’s simple and straightforward. And once you see it, you go, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ That’s how I’m hoping people will react to it.”

Sharp has been working with a patent attorney on his breakthrough, dubbed Boxkat Rodent Barriers. He envisions selling the 14-inch barrier for $250. “I think long-term we can get under $100,” Sharp said. “At a $100, this is a total no-brainer to give it a go in this mouse-infested universe.”