That new car smell can make you sick
December 19, 2001 11:06 AM   Subscribe

That new car smell can make you sick Sure, it might have lost twelve thousand the moment I drove it out of the show room, but you just can't beat that the smell of a new car.
posted by lucien (7 comments total)
Any time I step into a new car, the smell makes me nauseated. It's true what they say, for me anyway. When we got our Jetta back in 1985, it took me a few years before I could sit in the front seat without feeling ill.
posted by Succa at 3:15 PM on December 19, 2001

Has anyone here heard the Memphis band, New Car Smell? Their self-titled song (on one of the Loverly singles compilation CDs) is a real hoot.
posted by at 4:16 PM on December 19, 2001

leave an unfinished mocha, and maybe some spilled taco in your car for about a week, perhaps some laundry also. Crack the window just a tad for moisture to get in...and it should take care of the new car smell.

And what about that spray i've seen around, to give old cars New car smell? yikes.
posted by th3ph17 at 5:00 PM on December 19, 2001

A few weeks back a guy called Car Talk to say that he'd been shopping for new cars and wanted to know why he got sick only when he test drove a VW. Being a recent VW convert myself, my ears really perked up (and, of course, I was driving it at the time).

He said he really liked the Jetta but ended up buying a Subaru for this reason. The Car Talk guys said that it wasn't just VWs but all German cars that often had this affect on people. They figured it was the large amount of plastic used.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 5:23 AM on December 21, 2001

Chemical hazards in new cars: "A two year study by the Australian government-funded Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has identified a range of poisonous chemicals, including cancer-causing benzene, emitted by the vehicles' plastic interiors. Concentrations of volatile organic compounds inside two cars were measured at up to 64,000 micrograms per cubic metre. People exposed by researchers to less than half this concentration reported fatigue and headaches within minutes. Steve Brown, head of CSIRO's air quality division, suggested the toxic material inside new cars might be responsible for some road accidents. Long term exposure could cause abnormalities in unborn children, he added."
posted by Carol Anne at 6:25 AM on December 21, 2001

I've suspected this since I was a child. I've always hated new car smell. The phrase dont'cha love that new car smell! keeps running through my head, and honestly it brings back slight feelings of nausea just thinking about it. Not sure where the phrase comes from though. Probably some movie I saw.

But then, childhood nausea in the car was common for me for other reasons, too. When I was growing up my mother would chain-smoke cigarettes with the car windows rolled up. Now I will always loathe and detest cigarette smoke. Just two days ago I had to politely ask a smoker friend to exhale a few times between finishing her cigarette and getting into my car. I'm so sensitive that even her breath was making me unhappy.

...I wonder if this qualifies as childhood scarring...
posted by Jonasio at 11:51 AM on December 21, 2001

Boy this note brought back memories of my one and only new from the showroom car. It made me dizzy with vinyl fumes and probably shortened my life expectancy back to that of the turn of the old century.

Have never wanted a new car since and certainly would not recommend anyone buying one during a long hot summer.

Wonder what's in the new car smell spray - leftover dry cleaning fluid? !!
posted by moxie at 12:48 AM on December 23, 2001

« Older Sightless dining.   |   Proof that there are some brilliant teenage girls... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments