So I did a stupid thing – I put a gas-powered pressure washer in my backseat and it dribbled gasoline on and UNDER the seat of my 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. The top of the seat was no big deal, but I didn’t realize how much had gotten under the seat until a couple days later.
This was two months ago. Since then, I’ve had the initial spill cleaned (the dealer used mineral spirits), the car interior detailed, lots of baking soda on the under-seat foam, replacement of the cabin area filter and copious use of various deodorizers. I will say the actual gasoline smell is pretty much gone – you have to put your nose right up against the seat foam to pick it up – but it’s been replaced by a toxic undertone that irritates the back of my throat, like a bass note you can’t hear but can feel (in this case, smell). I’ve taken to wearing a mask in the car and my respiratory system is very angry with me.
I’ve spoken to an upholsterer. He thinks the gasoline may be breaking down the foam. That’s the most logical explanation, and at this point I’ll gladly pay to replace the seat if necessary.
But, being the worst-case-scenario guy I am, what if it’s not the seat foam? I have a Honda engineer acquaintance; he assures me the gas vapor can’t get into the battery area. Could it get into the vents? Could it have caused mold? Could the toxic undertone be related to something else?
And, the capper, what if I can’t get rid of the fumes? I won’t be able to drive it; would anybody take this car off my hands for reasonable value – which I see as perhaps a few grand below blue book – or would I just have to take a complete hit? Remember, the car isn’t even two years old yet. I’m barely right side up.
Any thoughts would be appreciated – especially what to do with a car you owe money on but just can’t drive anymore.