Tips, Tricks & Trends

Remember Those Stinky Smell Palisades? Now Hyundai Says It Has A Fix

Remember back in August we reported on owners complaining about new Hyundai Palisade interiors that stank like you-know-what? You know, right? It has been a mystery why the new interiors smell so bad. Driving for any distance has even made some drivers sick. Well, now The Drive is reporting that Hyundai has figured out the sure-fire fix for the foul-smelling interiors. Believe it or not, Hyundai is suggesting dousing the headrests and seat backs with Febreze. 

Hyundai issued a technical service bulletin addressing the foul smell fix

RELATED: The 2021 Hyundai Palisade Only Has 1 Glaring Weakness

Hyundai has even issued a technical service bulletin addressing the foul smell fix. It involves saturating the foam of the headrests and seat backs with the off-the-shelf odor eliminator. It also says to spray Febreze down into the headrest mounting holes. Yeah, we’re skeptical, too. 

Some technicians at dealerships have suggested the smell was like that of “old worn socks.” Others said it was worse, “like garlic with a hint of ass.” Eeewww!

Hyundai has listed other official neutralizing unwanted smell agents

2020 Hyundai Palisade interior
2020 Hyundai Palisade interior | Hyundai

Hyundai has also listed other official neutralizing unwanted smell agents that include the unscented Febreze Fabric Refresher, Pure & Clean surface cleanser, Zep Air, and Fabric Odor Eliminator. Nothing special, just stuff you can pick up at the Stop and Shop. 

But the technical bulletin warns that taking apart the headrests and seat backs are not for the inexperienced. There is a certain art to taking apart the headrests to get to the foam. It suggests the Nappa leather is sensitive and that owners take their Palisade SUVs to the dealer and let them do it. 

And if first, you don’t succeed it suggests doing the procedure a second time, but use a different approved product. It should be noted that in forums owners have tried these obvious foul smell remedies and none of them worked. If not right away then long-term it didn’t take long for the smell to return. 

Why not replace the headrests and possibly the seat backs?

a Hyundai Palisade parked in a scenic grassy area
Hyundai Palisade | Hyundai

If we may so humbly make a suggestion? Why not replace the headrests and possibly the seat backs? We know it is a lot more cha-cha than Febreeze, but if the remedy isn’t really a remedy why string out your otherwise happy customers? We are hearing mostly great things about Palisade. But the idea of a poop smell in a new car has to be prompting potential customers toward other makes. 

So if the Hyundai powers-that-be have determined it is the headrests and possibly seatbacks that smell of rancid socks and cottage cheese just replace them. We would suspect that the sticker on most of these is north of $40,000. That’s a lot of money to have to put up with any smell other than a new car smell in a shiny new car.