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I point out that our headrests and atmrests are not leather for a couple of reasons.
One, so we are better informed and that’s a good thing when discussing our cars amongst ourselves and others.
Two, and more importantly, we know how to treat the materials in our cars. Vinyl won’t scratch or stretch as easily as leather so it can take more abuse.

The Limited headliner isn’t suede as someone mentioned in another post, but I didn’t point that out to the OP, so I’m not “that guy” that you think I am

😉😊

hope you guys can fix this stink issue. I only posted that I have no smell in my Limited as a data point. I DO have wind noise though!!!! Hahahha
 

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I think we all know the headliner is not suede but it is a much upgraded material over the normal headliner normally found in cars. I was just pointing out that context means a lot especially on forums as you can't always tell what the person writing is specifically inferring to but I think we are all hear to learn a thing or two and help where we can. I have to admit that I thought the headrests were leather originally but now know they are vinyl which means I don't have to be as careful with them in trying to figure out how to rid them of that smell.

I didn't mean to come across as pointing fingers but just a friendly reminder to maybe explain your answers a little more so we ALL can know.
 

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Hi, all. We have a Palisade Limited with light interior and curious smell, and this popped in Google up as one of the larger discussions. It's a pungent odor, very sharp, foul and chemical-like. It's most definitely not a typical "new car smell". Our car primarily sits outside. And the Chicago area's recent 98-percent humidity, 90-degree days, it's been particularly bad. Does anyone else who's experiencing this smell live in hot, humid areas? I think it's getting worse, too, as the temps climb and the car sits outside.

I went through the same sniff test diagnosis, and my nose seems to think it's coming from inside the seats, rather than the upholstery coverings. With the head restraints out and my nose up to the mounting hole, it seems to emanate from inside the seat in the first and second row, and with the third row head restraints folded, from the slots where the mounts go into the seats. Does anyone else get that sense, too?

Edit: We've had our car since December and now has 7,500 miles on it.
 

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The smell does seem to return to the headrest covers after treatment as if it is outgassing. I think some of the other padded vinyl in the car may be outgassing as well.
John, we removed our headrests a week ago and have been airing out our vehicle (doors and windows open with a big fan blowing through it all night) every single day since then. Although not nearly as bad as it was with the headrests in we still today have a slight residual smell. The pungent odor was so bad in our car before we took the headrests out that I still believe its a residual smell that has impregnated itself in the interior of the car. Whether or not it will go away is yet to be seen (or smelled!)
I received an email from Hyundai saying that they have been unable to reach me by phone of which I find hard to believe because I have been sitting on my phone awaiting their call, and after checking my phone records I have zero missed calls from them or any call from a 714 area code that they told me they would be calling from.
We are starting to come to the conclusion that neither Hyundai nor our dealer want to address the problem. The dealer wants to give us $500 to put towards getting after market headrests for a brand new $50K car of which we are not pleased.
 

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I think I found the main source of my odor that is still present in the car. The first headrest I did was still damp when I reassembled it and so it was still giving off the odor really bad. I'm going to remove ALL the head rests this evening and see what I have in the morning. I'm sure there will be some residual smell but it always seems to go away within a minute or two after getting and driving the car. It only seems to come back after it has been sitting for awhile and the heat does seem to make it worse.

I was doing some research on how to eliminate odors and I use Griot's Garage to care for my cars, so I went to them first to see what they offered and I found this Odor Exterminator. The only downside is that the shipping from them is kind of high unless you buy $59 worth of stuff to get free shipping but they have a 180 day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee that they stand by as I have used it before. I decided to check Amazon to see if they had something similar and I found Biocide Systems Auto Shocker which appears to be the exact same thing and I think Griot's just has them make a private label for them. The active ingredient in it is ClO2 which is Chlorine Dioxide which from reading about it and watching a video about it is 100% safe to use and leaves behind a slight chlorine smell that will dissipate over a short period of time. I think I am going to go this route regardless as I would rather smell chlorine for a few days then have to smell garlic :)


From the company's website:

Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is a potent odor -eliminating gas with strong oxidizing properties. An "oxidizing agent" removes electrons from reactive molecules. By this process, ClO2 uses oxygen to break up the odor quickly neutralizes it. Chances are that you've used oxygen before: "Oxi-Clean" is an example of oxygen use that cleans.
Unlike most other chemical deodorizers, Chlorine Dioxide degrades very quickly into too simple salts and water (often within hours and in direct sunlight within seconds). Under the best conditions, it is unlikely to last even a few days. As a product, it has no shelf life. That means that you can't just buy some ClO2 in a bottle. And for that reason has never really been available to consumers.
 

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Good luck guys. It sure would be nice if Hyundai could recognize the source and take care of this for you. I enjoy driving the Palisade and having an unbearable stink would surely take that pleasure away. Keep us posted.
 

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I isolated the headrests over night in the garage; and on my car at least, it’s not coming from the headrests themselves, which smell fine. The smell still seems like it’s coming from inside the seat cavity from the open holes from where the headrests mount.
 

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I removed all the headrests last night and checked it again this morning and there was still a smell in the cabin. At this point I am going to buy one of those odor exterminators and hope for the best. I would rather the car smell like a pool than garlic and onion.
 

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After a closer look, the sides of the seats are the same material as the headrests. So the odor from seats is likely. Apparently some lots of vinyl were funky and some were ok. I’m driving around with just the bare foam headrests. I haven’t rid the covers of smell completely, yet. There is some residual odor in the car from the other vinyl on the seats.
 

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maybe with enough complaints to corporate you guys can get new seat covers. sounds like the smell has been isolated to the vinyl they've used in the seats. Any non-seating surface is vinyl, so take a whiff of the sides and backs too. And everyone call corporate to complain!
 

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Don't know why there are a few people so bent on pointing out that the headrests are NOT leather(which I do agree after looking it up) but it would be helpful to all if you explained why as I am sure not everyone is/was aware of that.

As for an update on the smell, I put the first 4 headrests in last night and checked the Palisade this morning before leaving for work and the smell was still there. I'm leaning towards there is something in the VINYL :) headrests causing the smell as that seems to be where the odor is coming from. The foam pretty much smells fresh as soon as you take the cover off while the cover itself seems to hold the odor more. I think I am going to remove all the headrests and air out the Palisade and see if it is truly the headrests causing the issue before I go to plan B of removing the smell from the headrests. I will also check the ones I cleaned already to see if the smell is still there.
Any update on the headrest covers?
 

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I checked again last night when I got home from work and the smell is still there. I still need to reassemble some of the headrests and reinstall them, I will do that when I get home. Right now I am just going to wait for the Odor Eliminator that I ordered off Amazon to get here, so I can try that out. That looks like the most promising thing right now, I just wish they sold it with Prime so that I could get it faster. Looks like it may not be here until the end of next week at the earliest.
 

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We washed the headrests on gentle cycle using Odor Ban which left a strong perfume smell so then repeated the wash using Oxyclean. The headrest covers have a nice clean scent with no hint of garlic. I'm drying them outside now and will report back.
 

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My ClO2 Odor Destroyer should be here by Monday or Tuesday. After I get it and use it I will let you all know how it went.
 

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We have had the headrests out of our car and in the sun for almost 2 weeks to air out and try to accelerate the gassing off process. Today I put 3 of the headrests in a large ziplock bag, one put together with the foam and 2 without the foam. I let it sit in the sun for an hour then opened it up and the smell was as pungent as it was in the beginning. Absolutely no improvement! At this point I do not think there is any chance of it getting better. The car still smells WITHOUT the headrests in it. My wife and I still get ill when we drive it. John G did your washing method help the smell?
 

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Did you do anything to the headrests prior to setting them in the sun for the last 2 weeks? And did the smell subside while the headrests were out of the vehicle? Anyone else going to try the ClO2 method or am I on my own? :)
 

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We have had the headrests out of our car and in the sun for almost 2 weeks to air out and try to accelerate the gassing off process. Today I put 3 of the headrests in a large ziplock bag, one put together with the foam and 2 without the foam. I let it sit in the sun for an hour then opened it up and the smell was as pungent as it was in the beginning. Absolutely no improvement! At this point I do not think there is any chance of it getting better. The car still smells with the headrests in it. My wife and I still get ill when we drive it. John G did your washing method help the smell?
My headrests are covered & back in the car. There's no odor except a light clean smell from the detergent. So far, we are very happy with the results of washing them in the washer. We turned them inside-out, washed them twice on gentle and air dried them. I'm not doing any other treatment at this point but will be monitoring Quinn's results.
 

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Did you do anything to the headrests prior to setting them in the sun for the last 2 weeks? And did the smell subside while the headrests were out of the vehicle? Anyone else going to try the ClO2 method or am I on my own? :)
We tried the HP method but it did not work. We rinsed them out and have since been airing them out. The foam has just a slight smell to it where as the vinyl still has a very strong pungent odor. We still have a smell coming from the car without the headrests that does get worse if the car sits in the sun and gets hot.
Our salesman spoke to the owner of the dealership and said they have been trying to find a solution. According to him they have several different manufacturing plants they sub out to that make the headrests and that they don't make them at the Hyundai factory. He said they were trying to figure out where ours came from so they can order us some replacements from a different factory. IF this is true this could explain why some of ours stink and others don't. We hope this is the case and that the new ones are stink free. I will keep you all updated on this as I get new information.

John I will be interested in knowing if the smell comes back once your car gets hot inside or if that did the trick. Could you do a bag test and put 2 or 3 in a big ziplock and set them in the sun for and hour or two to see if the smell comes back?

Quinn I will be interested in seeing what kind of result you get with your method.
 
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