Hyundai Palisade With Smelly Headrests Gets Bought Back Thanks to Lemon Law

It’s been months since Hyundai Palisade owners discovered a nasty smell coming from their SUV’s interior. In response to a growing number of disappointed owners, Hyundai issued a service bulletin to remedy the issue. However, it seems some of the remedies stated in the bulletin weren’t enough to satisfy at least one owner.

According to The Drive, one of these SUVs recently popped up at an auction, denoting that it was a manufacturer buyback due to lemon law. While a buyback could come from a mechanical issue, the auction’s description clearly states that a headrest odor was the main issue.

What is wrong with this smelly Hyundai Palisade?

2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy parked on display with a dusk sky in the background
The 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy on display | Hyundai

In case you’re not familiar with this smelly Hyundai Palisade story, let’s quickly recap. Back in 2020, Palisade owners began reporting a foul smell coming from the SUVs headrest. Despite being just a smell, owners on PalisadeForum reportedly couldn’t stand the smell. As you’d expect, many of them decided to go to their local dealership for a fix.

As Hyundai Palisade owners began to trickle in with smelly SUVs, dealerships quickly found the source of the issue. The foam inside of the headrests caused this unusual smell. In response, Hyundai issued a service bulletin that requires the use of neutralizing agents on the foam itself, one of them being Febreze Fabric Refresher.

To avoid damaging their SUVs, Palisade owners went to their local dealerships to get this issue taken care of. However, as you might imagine, this didn’t solve the issue for many owners.

Why did the owner need to use the lemon law?

As The Drive reports, this Hyundai Palisade came up at an auction in Orlando, Florida. To qualify for local and federal lemon law protection, this SUV had to go back to the dealership a handful of times before qualifying. Part of what makes this story interesting is that lemon law claims typically focus on mechanical issues rather than odor-related ones.

As several Hyundai Palisade owners have stated on PalisadeForum, it took a few trips to their dealership before getting the issue resolved. In most cases, the fix required a brand-new updated headrest. Most of the owners that tried spraying the foam were unsuccessful in removing the smell.

While going to your dealership repeatedly due to your brand-new vehicle is certainly a hassle, this new auction find could be a positive sign. If Hyundai is open to repurchasing these SUVs, disgruntled owners might have a way out of their smelly rides. Be sure to check in with your local lemon laws to see what your options really are.

Is this Hyundai still a good buy?


This Might Be the Best 2022 Hyundai Tucson You Can’t Buy

While this smelly Hyundai Palisade story undoubtedly poses a difficult situation for owners, the issue doesn’t seem to affect all of these SUVs. As a result, if you manage to find an updated model, you’ll get a ton of SUV for the money. According to Consumer Reports, the Palisade is one of the best SUVs in its segment, excelling in the road test, predicted reliability, and predicted ownership satisfaction categories.