Volvo Cars is the only manufacturer in the car industry with a complete model range featuring textiles that are so clean that they are certified according to the Oeko-Tex standard. The textile standard was introduced at the beginning of the 1990s by textile research institutes as a response to the needs of consumers and the general public for textiles which posed no risk to health.
Paul Welander, today Senior Vice President, Quality & Customer Satisfaction at Volvo Cars was thinking about his latest purchase of overalls for his daughters. That tag in the neck-band to confirm that the overalls were allergy-certified fascinated him. "What if we had the same certification for upholstery in our cars - just imagine the sense of security our customers would have," said Paul Welander.
The Volvo S80, launched in 1998, was the first car to be Oeko-Tex certified. Now all Volvo models feature Oeko-Tex certified textiles. An immense relief to about 35 or 40 percent of the population of the western world who suffer from allergies or over-sensitivity of one sort or another.
Oeko-Tex Association is a partnership of 14 textile research and test institutes in Europe and Japan. A wide range of products are inspected and analysed.
All the textiles inside the passenger compartment are tested, such as the roof lining, floor mats, luggage compartment mats, upholstery, door panels, leather-trimmed steering wheels and seat belts.
"There is a list of more than 100 substances or emissions that are not to exceed a given level. For instance, the materials used may not leak heavy metals," explains Andreas Andersson who is in charge of passenger compartment cleanness at Volvo Cars.
The clean in-car environment of Volvo's cars has drawn the attention of a number of organisations. For instance, the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association recommends four Volvo models as good purchases: the S80, V70, XC70 and the latest newcomer - the XC60.
"There are many people with various allergies today and over-sensitivity has increased drastically in recent years. Having a clean in-car environment is important. Personal health is important both to our customers and to us as a company," says Andreas Andersson.
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