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TOKYO - Anyone who's pulled away from the dealer's lot in a shiny, new sedan knows the seductive scent of fresh plastic, paint and upholstery that evokes a rush of pride and consumer satisfaction.
But that unmistakable new-car smell may soon be heading the way of the rumble seat: recent research linking it to a toxic cocktail of harmful chemicals is spurring efforts by Japanese automakers to tone down the fumes.
Japanese manufacturers, including Toyota Motor Corp., have become the first to set an industrywide goal of reducing cabin concentrations to within government guidelines. The push could spur similar action by U.S. and European rivals, making interior air quality an emerging auto safety issue.
I love the smell of a new car in the morning.....It smells like Victory