Ford Motor Co. has filed a patent application for an odor-removal process that eliminates the new car smell after a vehicle has been purchased.
This is the latest attempt in an industry effort to accommodate consumer tastes in different parts of the world: Consumers in China say they hate the new car smell.
“Unpleasant interior smell/odor remains the top industry problem in that market,” said Brent Gruber, senior director, global automotive, at J.D. Power. “To put that in context, it is nearly double the problem rate of the second most prevalent problem, excessive fuel consumption.”
Consumer feedback from Chinese buyers in recent years has been consistent. More than 10 percent of drivers complained about the issue according to the 2018 J.D. Power China Initial Quality Study.
Americans seem to like it, though.
“When I go online, I can find 30 different products that will give my car that new car smell,” said Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader. “And now they’ve come up with something to limit it?”
But China is the largest car market in the world, so carmakers take notice.