• Stellantis plans to no longer offer chrome in vehicles due to health and environmental risks, CNN reports.
  • Chromium-6, used in chrome plating, can potentially cause cancer to workers who face exposure.
  • Stellantis plans to introduce new designs, replacing chrome with alternatives, like black finishes.

There's one design flourish you won't see in upcoming Jeeps or Dodge vehicles: chrome.

While historically chrome accents have been used to position a vehicle as higher-end or protect against corrosion, CNN reports that Stellantis, the company behind Jeep, Dodge, and a dozen other car brands, is switching things up due to concerns over health and environmental risks.

The change, internally dubbed the "Death of Chrome" at Stellantis, according to CNN, means new models will be missing the characteristic shine of chrome-plated parts.

While the completed product is not believed to be harmful to consumers, hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, is "considered carcinogenic to workers," according to OSHA. The safety regulator says workers who inhale fumes or physically contact the chrome are at increased risk of developing lung, nasal, and sinus cancer.

Chromium pollution also poses notable environmental concerns, potentially affecting soil, crops, and ecosystems upon contamination. In 2019, a Detroit interstate had to be closed down due to a hexavalent chromium spill from an electroplating plant to prevent water contamination.

The National Association for Surface Finishing, an organization that represents the surface-coating industry, including chrome platers, told CNN that despite increasing safety measures, they were working to transition to the "safest and most sustainable alternatives and replacements."

A replacement that offers the same qualities as a finish sounds unlikely for production vehicles at this time. Stellantis' chief global designer, Ralph Gilles, told CNN that safer alternatives to chromium-6, like trivalent chrome, typically have a lesser-quality luster and the company will need to figure out a way to get people to fall out of love with traditional chrome.

Therefore rather than trying to replicate the signature finish, Stellantis plans to promote completely new designs. For example, blacked-out models like the Chrysler Pacifica S Package replace typically chrome elements like trim pieces and badges with a black finish. Other alternatives include using light for accents or polished stainless steel, though that can be pricier to manufacture.

Stellantis told CNN that it hopes these new looks will incentivize consumers to ditch the classic chrome look and sport a new kind of shine.

Stellantis did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment ahead of publication.

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2024-06-14T19:25:43Z dg43tfdfdgfd