New Jeep Plant Addresses Odor Problem

The smell is intense.

It’s a brand new plant, and it stinks.

That’s the problem Stellantis has been facing, after more than 50 odor complaints have been submitted in reference to the automaker’s one-year-old Jeep plant in Detroit.

What’s that smell? According to Automotive News, the company released the results of a recently completed “odor investigation” and says that they have a solution for the stench that neighbors say is impacting their quality of life.

Remediation efforts will include adding new equipment and ducting that Stellantis said in a news release “will ensure that odors do not reach the neighboring community." 

In late December, a Stellantis representative told community members in an open Zoom meeting that the issue, at least partially, had to do with exhaust that was not being routed through emissions control systems and that it would not cause a health risk.

After further modeling, the company now says it will add a "completely new and dedicated regenerative thermal oxidizer" as well as "odor reducing technologies" at specific places in the plant. Some have reported that the intense odors are coming from the automakers paint line.

Stallantis was facing pressure not just from the community but also, regulators, who slapped the company with three air quality violations last year. They declined to provide a timeline or cost calculation for the repairs, though the company did say they were waiting on specifics from suppliers on lead times for the equipment.

The plant was received with much fanfare as the first new auto assembly plant in Detroit in 30 years. Since then, the smell may have dampened that response. Back in October, Detroit’s Fox 2 quoted one neighboring resident who claimed the smells were sending people – including children – to the hospital for breathing issues.

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