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Re: [T3] Hybrids


lists@cattatonic.com wrote:

>
>I just bought a new japanese car (built in Hofu, Japan), and in the forums
>for said car it was asked why there is no real "new car smell?" Someone
>responded that Japanese automakers are trying very hard to reduce the
>levels of toxic chemicals and other toxic man-made materials in their
>automobiles.
>
This is very much true. The "new car smell" is volatile orgainic
compounds (aka VOCs) evaporating from plastics, rubbers, foams,
carpeting. It's relatively nasty stuff in high enough doses, and it
gives a small number of people wicked headaches. Ever notice that the
interior of your glass "fogs" up and plain Windex doesn't seem to cut it
(especially in a young car)? Household Windex is not a good solvent for
this stuff that condenses on the glass (such as ammonia-based Windex)-
but specialty automotive glass cleaner (like Stoner's Invisible Glass)
actually do work quite well.

There is a big push to find ways to manufacture these components without
the VOCs. The Japanese are currently the leaders in this regard, with
the Europeans following- both those constituencies have big green
movements. Alas, the US manufacturers (and this includes foreign plants
in the North America) are real laggards- my week-old '06 Honda Pilot has
that utterly intoxicating "new car smell" as it is made in Ontario,
Canada. Then again, I love the smell of formaldehyde and skunk, so
there's no accounting for taste.

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