It’s a brand-new plant, and it stinks.
That’s the problem Stellantis is facing after more than 50 odor complaints were 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 it has 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, in a news release, said “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 pose 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 automaker's paint line.
Stellantis was facing pressure not just from the community, but also regulators, who slapped the company with three air quality violations last year. Officials declined to provide a timeline or cost calculation for the repairs, although the company did say it was waiting on specifics from suppliers on lead times for the equipment.
The plant was received with great fanfare as the first new auto assembly plant in Detroit in 30 years. Since then, the smell may have dampened the response. Back in October, Detroit’s Fox 2 quoted one neighboring resident who claimed that the smells were sending people – including children – to the hospital for breathing issues.