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    Thread: Golf Owners: V-tex leatherette odor or is it something else?

    1. Member
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      '90 Cabby
      03-12-2018 12:15 AM #1
      My Wife has a 2015 Golf SE Sport (limited edition at lunch) in white with tan interior and sunroof. It was a very early US MK7 build and we've had it since about a week after it hit the dealer lot here in CA.

      We've got an odor and I'm not sure if it's the leatherette or something else in the car. The odor has been present for at least 1.5 years at this point but has not increased in severity IMO. Has anyone with he leatherette experienced an odor they feel was coming from the interior materials?

      - I have cleaned the leatherette every 6 months or so with BlueMagic Leather and Vinyl cleaner.

      It's been through 3+ years of everyday use, often with the AC on. I'm not sure if the source of the odor is the ventilation system or not. It's difficult to tell and doesn't seem like it's particularly musty-smelling.

      - I have never felt any wet carpets when I've checked.
      - I have never seen any leaks in the headliner/from sunroof.
      - I have never seen or detected evidence of water in the hatch area.
      - I have replaced the cabin air filter with a MANN Ferocious Plus anti-mircobial/allergen carbon filter, basically the best one you can get.


      Outside of trying something like Einzett/Nexzett Clima-klean in the ventilation system to see if it helps, I'm not sure what I can try or other areas I can check.
      Any suggestions would be helpful.

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    3. Member B6TURBOWAGON's Avatar
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      03-12-2018 10:36 AM #2
      My wife is super chemical sensitive, especially smells. I had intended on buying a GSW LE or SE originally.

      Went to look at the GSWs about two years ago, with my wife. I opened the door to have her sit in it, she wouldn't even get in because of the smell. She, literally, said that it smelled like it would give her cancer from all of the manufacturing smells in the car. Then we looked at the SEL with the upgraded seats. Not as bad, but still smell apparent. Then noticed that both the GLI and GTI didn't have the same type of out gassing to it.

      So, after a short discussion, and realizing I would have to spend well equipped GTI money to get into a GSW SEL, I just bought the GTI SE, and have not regretted it once..
      | 2016 GTI SE | 2007 B6 PASSAT 2.0T WAGON | 2001 BMW E46 325I SPORT(SOLD) | 1997 BMW DINAN E36 M3(STILL MISSED) |
      SCOTTSDALE AUTO GLASS GETS THE JOB DONE RIGHT THE FIRST TIME
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    4. Member
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      03-12-2018 02:21 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by B6TURBOWAGON View Post
      My wife is super chemical sensitive, especially smells. I had intended on buying a GSW LE or SE originally.

      Went to look at the GSWs about two years ago, with my wife. I opened the door to have her sit in it, she wouldn't even get in because of the smell. She, literally, said that it smelled like it would give her cancer from all of the manufacturing smells in the car. Then we looked at the SEL with the upgraded seats. Not as bad, but still smell apparent. Then noticed that both the GLI and GTI didn't have the same type of out gassing to it.

      So, after a short discussion, and realizing I would have to spend well equipped GTI money to get into a GSW SEL, I just bought the GTI SE, and have not regretted it once..
      Thats fine and all, but to be clear this is not a "new car smell". Though, having owned a bunch of new cars, I can say that the new VW smell seems to be more unique than some others.

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    6. Internet Lighting Police cb1111's Avatar
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      03-12-2018 02:28 PM #4
      What kind of a smell is it?

    7. Member B6TURBOWAGON's Avatar
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      03-12-2018 08:16 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by agentphish View Post
      Thats fine and all, but to be clear this is not a "new car smell". Though, having owned a bunch of new cars, I can say that the new VW smell seems to be more unique than some others.
      The smell we smelled was chemical like, and I have to attribute it to the V-tex, as the GTI has the leather interior. Maybe it was just that car in particular that smelled so bad.
      | 2016 GTI SE | 2007 B6 PASSAT 2.0T WAGON | 2001 BMW E46 325I SPORT(SOLD) | 1997 BMW DINAN E36 M3(STILL MISSED) |
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    8. 03-13-2018 05:24 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by agentphish View Post
      Thats fine and all, but to be clear this is not a "new car smell". Though, having owned a bunch of new cars, I can say that the new VW smell seems to be more unique than some others.
      VW's from the MK4 and below smelled of crayons the minute the new car smell wore off. Was it that? Does the smell resemble granola bars or oatmeal? Some newer VW's get a smell sort of like that.

    9. Member
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      03-14-2018 10:00 AM #7
      Mine smells kind of musty but also plasticky. Crayons may be the closest match.... No leaks that I can see

    10. Member
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      03-14-2018 10:28 AM #8
      After all these years.. VW still have the crayon smell.. LOL


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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    11. 03-14-2018 07:43 PM #9
      2017 Golf Wolfsburg Edition with leatherette here. No funny smells - just the usual "new car" smell, but then again my sense of smell isn't the greatest either.

    12. Member
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      03-16-2018 11:19 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by sedelstein View Post
      VW's from the MK4 and below smelled of crayons the minute the new car smell wore off. Was it that? Does the smell resemble granola bars or oatmeal? Some newer VW's get a smell sort of like that.
      I know the crayon smell very well from MK4s, it's definitely not close tot hat.

      Now, granola bars or oatmeal, you may be on to something there... I've never seen that reported anywhere, but what can you tell me?

      Musty/plasticy could also be a good descriptor, maybe.
      Last edited by agentphish; 03-16-2018 at 11:22 AM.

    13. 09-09-2019 01:50 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by agentphish View Post
      I know the crayon smell very well from MK4s, it's definitely not close tot hat.

      Now, granola bars or oatmeal, you may be on to something there... I've never seen that reported anywhere, but what can you tell me?

      Musty/plasticy could also be a good descriptor, maybe.
      Sorry to bring back this topic again but wondering if the Op got any solutions. If anyone else could chime in that's great as well. I just got a used 2016 Jetta SE for my daughter as her first car
      with the dual color v-tex seats and I seem to have identical type smell. At first I thought it was just stale type smell, from car sitting on dealer lot for a bit. But this does not appear to be the case
      now that I had tried to ventilate it for over a week. I had independent mechanic check for any leaks or water damage, nothing found. Had the original dealer check for the source and they think this is normal
      type smell, actually don't smell much at all. Had VW rep come in and he apparently confirmed nothing wrong with the car.
      Bottom line, when car is parked and sits in the sun for day as soon as you open the door the smell is there. One you open the windows or just run the AC for a few minutes it becomes somewhat unsubstantial
      and my daughter actually thinks its fine. I came to realization I am more sensitive to the smell then some other people but it still bothers me.

      Now, I went to original dealer and tried some other cars and another Jetta (it was 2017 model) with v-tex seats had similar smell, but not as intense as in my car. But then yet another one had no such smell.
      I cannot return the car anymore as now the dealer would treat it as trade in so I'd be loosing ton of money on this.

      As I said, my daughter is fine with it and after few minutes I get used to it with air circulating in the car as well. However, would love to hear if there is any good remedy to this, what I'm fairly certain of is the
      smell of the plastic leather in the car.

    14. 09-10-2019 12:03 AM #12
      I don't know about odd smells, but the v-tex seats in my Passat started cracking and splitting just under 36k miles. VW would not throw me a bone on the repair because the car was just over 3 years old. I'll never buy another car with VW leatherette/vinyl seats.

    15. Member
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      09-18-2019 06:12 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by henryd31 View Post
      However, would love to hear if there is any good remedy to this, what I'm fairly certain of is the
      smell of the plastic leather in the car.
      Nope. Smell is still there no matter what I have used to clean the car or what deodorizer I have placed in the car. The only thing I haven't tried is an ozone machine. My best guess is that it's the leatherette or there is something with some other adhesive within the vehicle that smells this way or there was a sunroof leak and what I smell is some sort of musty/mildew.

      Quote Originally Posted by d4m0n View Post
      I don't know about odd smells, but the v-tex seats in my Passat started cracking and splitting just under 36k miles. VW would not throw me a bone on the repair because the car was just over 3 years old. I'll never buy another car with VW leatherette/vinyl seats.
      Wife's is 5 years 51k miles. Seats look and feel brand new.

    16. 09-20-2019 01:15 PM #14
      Thanks agent for the reply. Yeah, so it doesn't look good. If you try that ozone treatment let me know please how that goes as I might have to do the same.
      I tried the "auto schocker" by biosystems but that just made a horrible chlorine stink in the car. I used it 7 days ago and it kept smelling real bad with chlorine now mixed
      with whatever the original smell was coming from. This morning I did the Lysol treatment in the intakes using both AC and then the heat and this at least seemed
      to have improved the smell, at least now I smell some Lysol rather than the damn chlorine mixture from the auto shocker ! Not sure how this will get in the next few
      days but I will get back here to check if anyone has any other suggestions other than the ozone machine.

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