Michigan residents living near the Stellantis Warren Truck Assembly Plant have been complaining for some time now about a fetid odor emanating from the facility, a stink that seems to have started after the place was outfitted for production of the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Investigations pointed fingers at the facility’s paint shop and the state hit Stellantis with an air quality violation.
Now, the company says it has completed the installation of missing ductwork and has done so a couple of weeks ahead of schedule.
Similar work was also carried out at Mack Assembly to address comparable issues. This work was wrapped up late last year. Beyond these efforts, Stellantis has also committed to additional efforts to reduce odors, especially after a third-party study found a ‘high frequency of odor concentrations’ in areas around the plant. For its part, the automaker says these odors don’t present a health risk to residents in the area, though those in the neighborhood have complained about irritated eyes and nausea in addition to other health problems.
This issue has dogged the company for some time now, with no shortage of public meetings and air samples being taken ever since production began of these new Jeeps. Described as ‘persistent and objectional paint/solvent odors’, the stink has drawn the attention (and ire) of various and sundry environment groups plus those who move the levers of power at the state level in Michigan. Stellantis (and, surely, nearby residents) hope this work marks the end of the stinky air.
For those unfamiliar, the triumvirate of Grand Cherokee L, Wagoneer, and Grand Wagoneer is a three-pronged strategy to attract buyers looking for a three-row SUV. This market was sorely underserved by Jeep up until now, a mystifying decision given that segment’s popularity and Jeep’s towering brand recognition. By introducing three new vehicles of this type in short order, they’ve quickly gone from no products in this sphere to having an abundance.
Even though all three look extremely similar – especially from the front – there are marked differences between the GCL and Wagoneer brothers. The latter draws much from the Ram pickup truck, including a brace of V8 engines. The three-row Cherokee is also available with a Hemi V8, though its body construction is quite different from the Wagoneer despite wearing similar clothes. It’s only when parking the models side-by-each does one realize how much larger the Wagoneer is (in both height and width) compared to the Grand Cherokee L.
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