Let's just say it's a very simple solution.
The Hyundai Palisade has a very peculiar problem. Back in the summer, owners complained that the leather seats smelled like dirty laundry and rotten vegetables. It's an embarrassing situation and is not an acceptable experience for a premium SUV that can cost $50,000. Hyundai is aware of the problem and has been investigating the cause of the foul stench. Several months later, the Korean automaker has come up with a hilariously simple solution to fix the Palisade's smelly seats.
According to a Technical Service Bulletin sent to The Drive by Hyundai, the official remedy to remove the Palisade's putrid odor is to douse the foam inside the Palisade's headrests and seat backs with Febreze.
Yes, that's right, the same Febreze you can buy off-the-shelf at your local convenience store. Dealers are being told to soak the inside of the headrest with an off-the-shelf odor eliminator and spray some into the mounting holes on top of the seat back to give the Palisade that fresh new car smell.
Hyundai lists acceptable "neutralizing agents" to remove the odor as unscented Febreze Fabric Refresher, pure & clean Surface Cleanser and Zep Air and Fabric Odor Eliminator. There's a very specific procedure to open the underside of the headrest and access the inner foam, however, so Hyundai advises affected owners to get the seats cleaned by a dealership to prevent damaging the Nappa leather surfaces or stitching.
If the first cleaning session doesn't work, the TSB advises dealers to try one of the other two approved products. However, multiple owners have already tried an identical cleaning procedure but it didn't stop the smell from returning. In other words, Hyundai doesn't have a long-term solution yet and hasn't identified what is causing the unpleasant smell.
It's worth noting that this problem only seems to affect Palisade Limited or Calligraphy models equipped with Premium Nappa leather seats. It's also unclear how many models are affected, but a company spokesperson confirmed that "there were slight variations in [the] manufacturing process of the headrests" that led to the odor in a "limited number of vehicles."