• Jul 30, 2008



That envious "new car" smell, the unique scent that makes all of your friends jealous as they check out your new ride, is actually quite toxic. The potent brew of freshly released bromine, chlorine, lead, and other heavy metals are responsible for a variety of acute and long-term health concerns that adults, and especially children, should be concerned about. That being the case, the Ecology Center has released its annual consumer guide to the most toxic (and cleanest) new cars on the market. Taking the tallest podium as the worst offender is the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spider GT. Following in second is the Suzuki Reno, while the BMW 128i Convertible lands third. The least offensive new vehicle, as researched by the Center, is the Acura RDX SH-AWD. The Smart Pure Coupe and Chevrolet HHR LT take second and third cleanest, respectively. While the Ecology Center is quick to point out that the offenders aren't as bad as last year's group, they offer little information as to how consumers can limit their exposure... short of not buying a new car.

[Source: HealthyCar via The Car Connection]



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  • 30 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Fortunately for Acura RDX owners, they do sell "New Car Smell," in a bottle now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ...is there anyone on the planet (exept maybe Al Gore) that actually cares???
      • 6 Years Ago
      Man where on earth did they find a 2008 VW Beetle convertible? I thought VW quit making the Beetle in 2003.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hmmm... I'm thinking of buying an E350 4matic, but its in the same class as the Smart... Maybe I should get the Smart and save myself $45,000!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Toxic new car smell. I can't think of a better way to die.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mazda is coming out with the new 2009 Mazda6 wonder if they fixed the chemicals in the new model? any thoughts?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I had a Hyundai Scoupe for a demo in 1991 and it had an odor that gave me a bad headache. That's in addition to the regular headache I had from just driving the thing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      translation: look at us! pay attention to us! We have a sensationalistic story that lends it self to local news promo sounds bits. Featuring the always favorite: "Will you new car give you the AIDS? Tune in at 11 and find out, now back to "Pretty White Skanks Do The OC," already in progress.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I find it wierd that the lincoln pickup aka rebadged f-150 is up there but not an actual F-150
        • 6 Years Ago
        Theres a lot of different interior materials between the two.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mazda is coming out with the new 2009 Mazda6 wonder if they fixed the chemicals in the new model? any thoughts?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well this is just the excuse I needed to pick up an M5 instead of 128.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Having peformed thousands of hours of industrial hygiene air sampling for chemical exposure, and having used XRF testers in the past, I am not sure how they are coming to the conclusions that they are?

      Show me airborne levels of what is actually being off-gassed? Bromine and Chlorine are toxic as gasses. Lead, Chromium and Nickel can be a problem for ingestion and dermal contact, but take a surface wipe samples and show what is actually comming off as far as particulate that could actually impact the car occupants.

      ....and no mention of the potential biggie as far as "new smell" off-gassing....yup, formaldehyde.

      Science or scare tactics?
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