Vehicle Interior Air Quality

© Fraunhofer IBP
Vehicle with artificial sun in the IndoorAirTestCenter IATC

The air quality in a vehicle's interior depends to a large extent on two different sources - on the one hand on emissions from interior components and on the other hand on the supply air and thus on the air quality surrounding the car.

Interior components made of polymer materials lead to emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The level of the emissions and the presence of certain substances can lead to a more or less strong odor nuisance or even to a health hazard for the occupants. For important export markets, there are already legal regulations or recommendations on limiting VOC emissions from motor vehicles or on vehicle interior air quality (USA, China, Korea, ISO 12219).

Emissions from outside entering the vehicle interior via the supply air depend on the ambient air quality. These can be influenced by the use of suitable cabin air filters or active air purification systems.


  • Emission measurement of components and vehicles according to national (VDA), international (CARB, DIN ISO 12219 series, JAMA, MOLIT) and internal standards of OEMs
  • Emission tests in SHED chambers (volume 0.1 to 7.5 m³)
  • Monitored ageing tests (real or short-term)
  • Odor evaluation according to given standards and self-developed methods
  • Odor analysis, odor substance identification
  • Development of methods for odor minimization
  • Effectiveness measurements on filters and catalytic converters (filter test bench and real installation situation in the vehicle)
  • Investigation of the resistance of materials against microbial infestation
  • Consulting on complaints, damage analysis
  • Material and component optimization


Further information

Vehicle Interiors [Fraunhofer IBP] Determination of VOC emissions in the vehicle interior on the vehicle test bench

Characterization of elastomers [Fraunhofer LBF (German)]
regarding the permeation of fuels