Car owners left with £2,500 bill after runaway pet hamster eats entire airbag

JCT senior service advisor Zoe Randle with Sparky the hamster. (SWNS)

A hungry hamster caused havoc by running up a whopping £2,500 bill - after munching its way through a car’s airbag.

The hamster, named Sparky, chewed through the car's wiring and scoffed the side passenger's airbag, housed in the roof, along with the trim.

Technicians discovered the damage when a rental company took the Chevrolet Spark to the JCT600 Vauxhall dealership in Bradford, West Yorks, after the airbag developed a short circuit.

Service manager Tony Robinson said staff suspected there was an animal in the car, so they left peanuts as bait.

Culprit: Sparky the hamster. (SWNS)
Culprit: Sparky the hamster. (SWNS)


He said: 'Every morning we all rushed over to the car and peered through the windows to see if the nuts had been eaten and each morning they had been but with no sign of the culprit.'

Staff discovered where the bait had gone when they examined the car's roof and dozens of peanuts fell on their heads and, the next morning, a mechanic spotted Sparky in the boot.

The car had previously been rented to a customer with a pregnant hamster and staff believe Sparky to be about four weeks old.

Technicians were forced to move various parts of the car during their search and Sparky's exploits led to the car being rewired as part of 'extensive work' to get it back on the road.

The runaway hamster was found inside a Chevrolet Spark (file picture). (Rex)
The runaway hamster was found inside a Chevrolet Spark (file picture). (Rex)


Mr Robinson said Sparky has now been rehomed by a member of staff.

'According to the rental company, the car had been rented to a customer with a pregnant hamster,' he said.

'As she hasn't claimed Sparky, the hamster has been adopted by our senior service advisor, Zoe Randall.

'Unfortunately, as a result of being a hamster's home, the Chevrolet needs very extensive work, including completely rewiring.

'The good news is that having spent the day sleeping in a cardboard box in my office recovering from his exploits, Sparky is now happily settled into his new cage at home with Zoe, where hopefully he will cause less damage.'

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