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this morning i was turning into a parking spot and then heard this chunk sound and a piece of plastic fell to the ground. i picked it up and it was a thin piece of plastic and very brittle. i was able to bend and crack it into small pieces as if were a pizzelle! i turned out to be the thin fender liner thingy inside my front wheel-well. (see photo). i checked the the other side, and it was even worse - almost completely broken off. i plan on ordering replacements, but don't know if i should be concerned that these "covers" are gone. are they just pretty much like a dust/dirt cover? i have a 2012 and live in ca, so with the dry air and heat, these things were bound to fall apart sooner or later.
 

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They help keep the dust and road debris out of the engine bay. Most of us have replaced them with ones from Rad Rubber.
 

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Those are splash guards for some protection of the engine bay. They are easily replaced. or you can make them yourself by ordering some butyl rubber and trace the old ones onto the rubber.
 
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