By George Polgar

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– In a case of unintended consequences of new technology, the auto industry is now dealing with the downside of going green.

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Car owners in the city, suburbs and rural areas have long had to contend with the damage that rats, mice, squirrels and other critters can do while seeking the shelter and warmth of the engine compartment of parked cars. During their stay, they chew up the soft plastic and petroleum based synthetic hoses, belts, wiring and even insulation, mistaking it for food.

With the cost of replacement parts and labor, this damage can often run into thousands of dollars.

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In recent years to be more environmentally friendly, many car companies are making these “soft” parts and components from organic materials including coconut husks, banana peels and even the waste material of agave plants used in making Tequila.

This all seemed like a good idea … until the car companies started getting reports from dealership service departments of an epidemic of varmint and critter destruction sweeping the country.

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It seems the little grubbers love the taste of these new organic car parts requiring manufacturers to add unpleasant flavoring treatments.