Hyundai hasn't done enough to fix the problem.
One of the best things about buying a brand new ride? That unmistakable new-car smell. Hopefully, it's more leathery than plasticky but it reminds your olfactory system that you are the proud first owner of an untouched vehicle.
Unfortunately, this wasn't the case for new owners of the Hyundai Palisade. Last year, the strong-selling SUV was found to have an unpleasant whiff in the cabin that some owners even likened to rotten vegetables. The smell seems to come from the Nappa leather seats. Hyundai then came up with a bizarre solution to the problem, recommending owners spray the cabin with Fabreze, but that hasn't stopped a class action complaint being filed against the company.
According to Business Wire, clients of the Minnesota-based law firm Hellmuth & Johnson filed the complaint against Hyundai Motor America, Inc., on behalf of Palisade owners who have had the same issue. To make matters worse, the issue applies to the seats fitted to the more expensive SEL and Limited trim levels.
Apparently not detectable during a normal test drive, the smell has caused many owners embarrassment but also resulted in passengers experiencing nausea. Customers are incensed that Hyundai has not issued a recall nor provided any effective solutions to the issue.
"I have been in customer service my entire career, including more than 20 years at a car dealership. I know what good and responsible customer service looks like," said Richard Stucki, one of Hellmuth & Johnson's clients. "Hyundai has failed to respond to our concerns and repeated calls. We have no other recourse, and we are not the only ones who have been affected by this issue."
A visit to the NHTSA's website confirms that individual customers have complained about the terrible smell, comparing it to rotten onions and garlic. It remains to be seen how Hyundai responds to the class action complaint but the company can surely no longer ignore the issue.