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Ford Files Patent for Removing New Car Smell | News & Opinion

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If you thought we lived in a world where everyone enjoys that new car smell, think again. China, the biggest car market in the world, finds it unpleasant and so Ford came up with a way to remove it from brand new vehicles.


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One of the highlights of purchasing a brand new car is the smell it has inside for the first few weeks of being driven. It’s that “new car smell” and many drivers wouldn’t want to see it disappear, there’s even products available to help bring it back. However, in China it’s a different story. They hate the smell and find it unpleasant.

If you’re wondering what creates the new car smell, it’s the mix of leather, plastic, and vinyl fitted inside the car and the chemicals used to keep them in place. These materials naturally release organic compounds which form this very distinct smell.

As the Detroit Free Press reports, as China is the biggest car market in the world and they don’t like the new car smell there, it’s in the interests of car manufacturers to get rid of it. Ford has a solution and filed a patent for it, but it’s not a simple process and isn’t instantaneous.

Ford’s solution is to sit the car out in the sun and allow it to bake the smell out of the materials. The windows are left slightly open, the engine is turned on, and the fans run. There’s even software to manage dispelling the smell and air quality sensors to keep track of the process. And because this process takes time, it is best done when the car isn’t being used. With that in mind, Ford is only thinking of using it on driverless cars which can drive themselves to a sunny location and carry out the necessary procedure.

While this may work, the owners are still going to have to endure the new car smell for the first few journeys. A better solution would be using different materials and chemicals inside the car, but that’s likely to be an equally difficult problem to solve.

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