Hyundai finally found the cause of a 'putrid' rotten-produce stench plaguing owners of certain Palisade SUVs

  • In August, Cars.com first reported a mysterious "putrid stench" coming from the inside of its Hyundai Palisade SUV.
  • The smell's origin and cause were not determined.
  • Hyundai was finally able to trace the smell to the imitation leather used on the headrest covers on certain Palisade trims.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Back in August, we learned that certain owners of the Hyundai Palisade SUV suffered from a strange, olfactory issue: A mysterious "putrid stench" was emanating from the interior of the cars and no one knew why.

Three months and likely a lot of rolled-down windows later, Hyundai has a solution.

If you'll kindly remember, the issue was first reported by Cars.com earlier this year. Basically, the test car Cars.com purchased had an intermittent "sharp chemical odor with a dash of something organic like garlic or rotten produce," which seemed to come from the seats' head restraints. No one seemed to be able to pinpoint where the smell was coming from beyond that or what was causing it.

In an August emailed response to Business Insider, a Hyundai representative said that the company was aware of the issue and was investigating it.

But in a follow-up post this week, Cars.com reported that Hyundai was able to pinpoint the origin of the smell: the "imitation leather coverings of head restraints in Palisade Limited and Calligraphy trim levels equipped with Nappa leather on the seats," the site wrote. 

"Specifically, a flaw in the manufacturing process resulted in some vehicles emitting the objectionable odor," the story said. "The inconsistent nature of the problem — and the fact that people vary both in how much they detect it and how objectionable they find the odor when they do smell it — is partly responsible for how long it took to get a grasp on it."

The first fix is to spray some odor-neutralizer on the inside of each head restraint covering, though that doesn't always work. If it doesn't, Cars.com reported, customers could then be eligible for a replacement set of head restraints that are made in a new way so they don't smell again.

"It's a rare occurrence that they have to replace all seven headrests," a Hyundai spokesperson told the outlet. "The engineering team is confident in the process."

Case closed, seems like.

You can read the rest of the Cars.com story here. 

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