Michigan: Mopar plant odors due to “improperly installed equipment”

Michigan’s Department of Environmental Protection has released a page with details on the-former-Chrysler’s plant permits and violations.

Some plants have recent violations, including the Detroit Assembly Complex née Jefferson North (pictured below from 2017) and Mack Engine I and II (combined recently into Mack Assembly).

Jefferson North (2017)

Violation notices were issued in September, October, and November related to odors, which were traced down to improperly installed equipment. Nearly all the equipment at Mack Assembly is new.

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Warren Truck was also hit with a violation notice on November 1, again due to improperly installed equipment.

The key issue in both cases is the paint shop, which deals with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) via a concentrator and regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO); once concentrated, the emissions are burned, in essence. It appears the emissions were not properly collected, which could be a ductwork problem or something more complex.

The smells reported around Mack were apparently from paints or solvents.

Past issues at Mack Engine were related to permitting for the dynamometers and hot test stands.

At this point, it’s impossible to tell whether there were design or construction flaws, and whether the issues were related to Stellantis’ work or those of a contractor. The only two Stellantis plants in North America to have received complaints recently were Mack and Warren, and both were related to their paint shops; it is likely the company used the same vendor in both cases.

David Zatz started what was to become the world’s biggest, most comprehensive Mopar site in 1994 as he pursued a career in organizational research and change. After a chemo-induced break, during which he wrote car books covering Vipers, minivans, and Jeeps, he returned with some friends to create StellPower.com, which is intended to end up as an enduring partnership. Contact him at (973) 925-6058 or check out the new junkyard/slant six book he edited.