A report released yesterday by a Michigan-based non-profit environmentalist group, the Ecology Center, ranked the interior air quality of about 450 2008-09 model vehicles. The investigation is part of a two-year old (fledgling) endeavor initiated by the Ecology Center known as the Clean Car Campaign.
The CCC’s primary objective is to raise consumer and manufacturer awareness concerning, beginning with their official findings. Accordingly, the Ecology Center’s report ranks vehicles based on the potential threat they pose to human and environmental health. Ranked on a scale from 0 to 5 (0 being little-to-no threat), a vehicle’s score is tabulated by measuring the amount of toxic chemicals present in its interior. According to the report, the ten most toxic cars in descending order are [with score appearing beside vehicle model]:
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spider GT [4.7]
Suzuki Reno [4.2]
BMW 128i [3.9]
VW Beetle [3.9]
Lincoln Mark LT 4×4 [3.5]
Suzuki Forenza [3.5]
Mazda 6 Sport Value Edition [3.4]
Lincoln Navigator [3.3]
Kia Rondo LX [3.3]
Audi TT Coupe 2.0 [3.3]
When asked by Automotive News about the significance of these findings, Jeff Gearheart, who is spearheading the Clean Car Campaign, said, “Companies are starting to take this seriously.”
I beg your pardon, starting? Shouldn’t interior air quality already have been important? I mean, I know the fuel crisis is what’s on the front burner right now, but I don’t want a car that gets 40 mpg if the flame-retardant material used to upholster the seats is going to give me Black Lung.
[Full article & additional report results available at Automotive News]