Owners complain that the Hyundai Palisade stinks. Literally!

The Hyundai Palisade is so popular that the Korean company is struggling to keep up with demand. But this may soon change as many owners are complaining that the SUV’s interior smells like... garlic. The Palisade Forum contains numerous reports on the matter, with at least four threads touching this issue and numerous owners complaining about foul odours.

The Hyundai Palisade literally stinks

The Hyundai Palisade's Interior Smells Like Garlic, Owners Say Interior
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Reports of this issue are as old as four months on the Palisade Forum, which has a few dedicated threads on the matter.

Most owners complain about a "garlic-like" or "garlic breath" odour, but some describe it as being similar to "onion rings."

The issue seems to be more common in Limited trim versions with beige Nappa leather, but at least one owner that ordered black leather complained of foul odours.

The Hyundai Palisade's Interior Smells Like Garlic, Owners Say Interior
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Most drivers claim that the smell becomes unbearable when the SUV is parked with the windows up. Some owners also claim that the garlic-like smell has gotten worse over time as the new car smell inside the cabin went away.

"My white Limited with beige Nappa, built in March 2020 in Korea, has the STINK, to the point that my wife will not drive it. It makes her hoarse, with dry cough and tight chest," one owner reported on the forum, while another driver wrote that "we have the Limited Palisade with beige leather and the garlic smell gets stronger the longer we have it, the smell is so strong it makes us nauseous."

The Hyundai Palisade's Interior Smells Like Garlic, Owners Say Interior
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Similar info comes from Cars.com, which reports "an occasional wretched smell coming from the beige interior." It’s described as "a sharp chemical odour with a dash of something organic like garlic or rotten produce." Cars.com also says that it started "at the arrival of 90-degree days in the Chicago area," so it might be something that become worse with hot weather.

Hyundai is trying to fix it

The Hyundai Palisade's Interior Smells Like Garlic, Owners Say Interior
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Many owners on the forum took their cars to dealerships or filed complains with Hyundai and the Korean automaker is currently looking for a solution. Some owners says that the smell comes from the headrests, so it may be from the foam or adhesive used in those areas. Hyundai seems to think the same, as some owners reported that the company has ordered new headrests for their SUVs. Cars.com talks about a similar solution for their tester.

A Hyundai spokesperson has confirmed that Hyundai is aware of the situation and it’s working on identifying the issue and a permanent fix. A technical service bulletin that will provide direction to the company’s dealers on how to resolve this issue is reportedly underway, so a recall may be issued soon.

Will this stinky problem impact sales?

The Hyundai Palisade's Interior Smells Like Garlic, Owners Say Interior
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Having a new car that stinks like garlic can’t be good, but this should be an easy fix. Palisade owners seem unhappy with this issue, which is far from surprising, but no one is mad to the point where he/she wants to return or sell their SUV.

While some may think twice about purchasing a Palisade until there’s an official cause and fix, Hyundai shouldn’t lose customers in the long run. But Hyundai dealers should be prepared to find potential customers sniffing the interiors of their showroom cars for a while.

Source: Cars.com

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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