Hyundai Owners Complain of Foul Odors

The smell emanating from a 2020 Palisade SUV matched similar problems reported on Hyundai forums.

There’s always a bit of adapting that comes after you buy a new vehicle.

Maybe the arm rest is a little bit higher than you’re accustomed to. Maybe the rear view is narrower than you’d prefer. Maybe when it gets above 90 degrees, it smells like a high school locker room in there.

Unfortunately, that last part is no exaggeration for certain owners of the new Hyundai Palisade SUV, who say they’re plagued by some kind of vile odor emanating from their brand new vehicles.

Reports have spread across Hyundai forums, where some drivers identified “smelly socks” or garlic-type odors pervading their vehicles. But they’ve also been detailed by the writers at in their recently titled “CSI: Car Smell Investigation, 2020 Hyundai Palisade Edition.” said the Hyundai Palisade they purchased for testing had “an occasional wretched smell coming from the beige interior.” They described the odor as a mix of chemicals and “something organic like garlic or rotten produce.”

The experience they’ve had seems to mirror that of other Palisade Limited owners with the same color interior and type of seating surfaces. Hyundai service departments began offering deep cleaning or an entire replacement of the head restraints, which is where the problem seemed to be emanating from.

Hyundai corporate is now in on the investigation, and told The Drive that they’re working to identify and validate an official fix. Meanwhile, the head rest replacement ordered for the team at is on backorder, meaning they’ll probably be spending the rest of their summer with the stink.

More in Video