Thursday, July 3, 2008

How "healthy" is your car?

Did you ever wonder where is that new car smell coming from? I know, I know it's something everyone likes, but... According to, it is coming from the amalgam of the numerous chemicals added to built the car. includes test results from over 200 of the most popular vehicles in the U.S. market from the 2006 and 2007 model years. In each vehicle, 15 different components were sampled using a portable, hand-held X-Ray Fluoresence (XRF) spectrometry device. The components sampled include: steering wheel, shift knob, armrest/center console, dashboard, headliner, carpet, seat front, seat back, seat base, hard door-trim, soft door-trim, body sealer, wiring, window seal and wheel weights. Based on these findings, each vehicle was given an overall rating, as well as chemical ratings for bromine, chlorine, lead and a group of substances referred to as "other chemicals”.

I will make a list with the cars that represents the low concern and most concern in terms of chemicals, but for a more complete list (and check whether the Prius is green all around), go here.

Low Concern High Concern
Small Car Chevy Cobalt (2007)
Pontiac G5 (2007)
Toyota Yaris (2007)
Mazda Mazda 3 (2007)
VW Jetta (2006)
Suzuki Reno (2006)
Suzuki Forenza (2006)
Hyundai Accent (2007)
Kia Rio (2006)
Chevy Aveo (2007)
Nissan Versa (2007)
Family Sedan From those tested - None identified Dodge Stratus (2006)
Kia Optima (2006)
Hyundai Elantra (2006)
Kia Spectra 5 (2006)
Upscale Sedan Volvo S40 (2007)
Cadillac CTS (2007)
Lexus IS 350 (2007)
Acura TSX (2006)
From those tested - None identified
Luxury Sedan Lexus ES 350 (2007)
Acura RL (2006)
From those tested - None identified
Large Sedan From those tested - None identified Chevy Impala (2007)
Coupe From those tested - None identified Chevy Monte Carlo (2006)
Convertible Chevy Corvette (2007)
Mercedes SLK280 (2007)
VW Beatle (2006)
Sport/Sporty Car BMW Z4 3.0 (2006) Hyundai Tiburon (2006)
Station Wagon Volvo V50 (2007)
Suzuki Aerio (2006)
Toyota Matrix (2006)
Suzuki SX4 (2007)
Pontiac Vibe (2007)
Mazda Mazda 5 (2007)
Suzuki Forenza Wagon (2006)
Scion xB 5dr (2006)
Pickup Truck Nissan Frontier (2006)
GMC Canyon (2007)
Chevy Colorado 2WD (2006)
Honda Ridgeline (2007)
Nissan Titan (2006)
Toyota Tacoma (2006)
Chevy Silverado (2007)
SUV Chrysler PT Cruiser (2006)
Acura RDX Tech (2007)
BMW X3 (2006)
Honda CRV (2006)
Chevy HHR (2007)
Pontiac Torrent (2007)
Suzuki Grand Vitara (2007)
Ford Explorer (2006)
Nissan XTerra (2006)
Subaru Tribeca (2006)
Toyota FJ Cruiser (2007)
Toyota Highlander (2006)
Toyota Rav 4 (2006)
Hyundai Tucson V6 (2006)
Chrysler Pacifica FWD (2006)
Kia Sorento (2006)
Subaru Forester (2007)
Minivan Honda Odyssey (2006) Kia Sedona (2006)
GMC Savanna (2007)
Chrysler Town & Country (2006)
Heavy Duty Truck From those tested - None identified Chevy Express (2007)

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