Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and Chrysler planning to eliminate chrome due to toxicity concerns

Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and Chrysler planning to eliminate chrome due to toxicity concerns

In a recent move that is sure to shake up the automotive industry, Stellantis, the parent company of iconic brands like Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and Chrysler, has announced that they are saying goodbye to chrome. The decision, according to design boss Ralph Gilles, is not just a stylistic choice but a health-related one as well.

In an interview with CNN, Gilles revealed that the decision to move away from chrome is rooted in environmental concerns and the health of workers who produce the metallic trim. Hexavalent chromium, the form of chromium used in chrome plating, is a known carcinogen and a significant toxic air contaminant. The California Air Resources Board has identified it as the second most potent toxic air contaminant in the state, further highlighting the risks associated with chrome plating.

While methods exist to minimize human exposure to hexavalent chromium, California is now looking at banning chrome plating that uses the material altogether. Stellantis is taking proactive steps by looking for alternatives. The upcoming Jeep Wagoneer S electric SUV will not feature any chrome at all, setting the tone for future Stellantis models.

Gilles mentioned that the initial Launch Edition of the Wagoneer S will feature darkened trim, offering a sleek alternative to traditional chrome. Other possibilities include materials with a duller finish like satin steel or different colors like bronze, silver, or graphite. This departure from chrome is a significant shift in the automotive world, where chrome has long been associated with luxury and sophistication.

Following in Stellantis’ footsteps, Volkswagen Group has also announced plans to reduce the use of chrome in their vehicles. Instead, they are embracing light as the new chrome, with recent models sporting light-up badges that outshine traditional chrome elements.

The move away from chrome is a trend that is gaining momentum across the industry. BMW Group’s Mini brand has also eliminated chrome from their latest lineup, signaling a collective shift towards more environmentally conscious and worker-friendly design choices.

As the automotive landscape continues to evolve, it’s evident that chrome’s reign may be coming to an end. Stellantis and other automakers are paving the way for a new era where sustainability, health, and innovative design take center stage. This shift away from chrome is not just a passing fad but a sign of a new direction for the industry as a whole.