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Honda in Japan introduced a new accessory for its N-BOX vehicles called the Kurumaku. Translated into English, the word Kurumaku means “car mask,” which is an accurate term for this new cabin air-filter design to reduce exposure to coronavirus inside a vehicle.
The Kurumaku filter goes on top of the standard cabin air filter. The filter media is treated with a zinc phosphate chemical that kills viruses and bacteria trapped in droplets. The filter is designed to work in the recirculation mode of the HVAC system. Honda has made the claim that in recirculation mode, the air in the cabin can be exchanged every 15 minutes. This can help to remove airborne droplets from inside the vehicle.
This is not the first OE-driven coronavirus solution on the market. Ford recently released a software update for the Police version of the Explorer that heats the interior to kill viruses. One Chinese automaker announced that their cabin air filters meet N95 mask standards. Also, some automakers have endorsed ozone-generating machines as a way to fight the virus and remove unwanted smells.
All of these solutions to current problems will be around long after the pandemic and will be opportunities for the auto care industry.