Stinky car - creosote - smokie
Was doing some shed clearing over the weekend, including lots of old pots and jars with unknown contents. Now the car absolutely stinks of creosote or something similar. I can't see any evidence of leakage anywhere so I'm hoping it's just "in the air". Leather upholstery btw.

Remembering something on a thread a few days back, I've put an opened bag of charcoal in the back foot well. Same thread also mentioned bowl of vinegar , which I shall also try. Anyone have any better suggestions please? (Yes, I was already thinking of selling it...!!)
Stinky car - creosote - Alby Back
I once managed to spill about a gallon of creosote on the boot carpet of my Galaxy. Took hours to clean up. Never did get rid of the smell. Fortunately, I quite like the smell of creosote.

Took extra care to ensure that there was plenty of ventilation when sparking up a stogie for the remainder of my time with that car......
Stinky car - creosote - jag
enjoy it while it lasts, good for the sinuses- sini? jag.
Stinky car - creosote - rtj70
Cat litter? Is there definately no spillage?

If not can you put it in the garage and leave the windows open?

Edited by rtj70 on 05/01/2009 at 16:55

Stinky car - creosote - Andrew-T
Continuing the edible thread, how about a cut onion? And can one still get Air-wick? There are certainly things around called Neutradol ...
Stinky car - creosote - FotheringtonThomas
I think that the only way you'll get rid of the smell is to wipe off any spots of creosote from hard surfaces, with white spirit, and also replace any carpet or upholstery that's been contaminated[1]. The smell of the stuff on clothes, for instance, lingers through several hot washes in a machine.

[1] You could alternatively wait for the smell to go away (several years if it's only light contamination).

Edited by FotheringtonThomas on 05/01/2009 at 17:28

Stinky car - creosote - Halmer
I once visited a neighbour who had proudly creosoted his new pine staircase.
Stinky car - creosote - George Porge
Bicarbonate of soda?
Stinky car - creosote - Armitage Shanks {p}
Other questions re pong removal have come up with fresh grass cuttings; I would recommend Neutradol spray rather then the gel type and what about Febreeze spray?
Stinky car - creosote - maltrap
Try AMBI PUR (the one for tobacco smells)
Stinky car - creosote - smokie
Not long back from Tesco's with a carrier bag of assorted sprays and gels, including Nutrodol, Febreze, Tesco's own brand, you name it, I've probably got it! I realised walking round the shop that my coat also stank, so that's hanging up dripping with deodoriser, and will go in the wash later. Have sprayed the carpets, seats (leather), headlining and boot, and left the hatch and front doors open for an hour. The open bag of charcoal is still there too.

As someone said above, the smell is actually OKish, but not in your car!!
Stinky car - creosote - 1400ted
I once had a bottle of milk roll off the seat and dump it's contents in the passenger footwell. It was an old Nissan Prairie and the underlay was about an inch thick. Smelled like cheese for weeks.
To tidy up sales cars with black carpets, after vaccing, we used to spray them with black cellulose from a can. This hid all the bits the vac didn't get and made the car smell brand new.
Stinky car - creosote - Saltrampen
Drive the car with heating on max, then periodically open all windows for 10 minutes, keep doing this for a week or so....
Creosote smell does go with heat and a draft.

My fences are treated every 6 months and after 1 week no smell.
Same applies for workjacket used when applying creosote.

Stinky car - creosote - davidh
I thought creosote was banned for being carcinogenic - or is that an urban myth?
Stinky car - creosote - FotheringtonThomas
I thought creosote was banned for being carcinogenic

It's the EU again. Various highly sludgy/toxic/carcinogenic products used in industrial applications (e.g. railway sleepers, telegraph poles) in parts of Europe, described as "creosote" were legislated against, with the much lighter stuff used in this country for domestic use being lumped in with them. So yes, creosote is banned - theoretically, if you've got any, you could be "done". There's a "creosote substitute" available, though, which looks and smells rather like real creosote, although I'd *guess* it meeds more frequent applications.

If you are to use this stuff on cars, I should think it's only useful on really old ones with himber components, and then only underneath. There's probably an more accepted substance to use on these anyway.
Stinky car - creosote - seasiders rock
you want a smell. summer, concentrated Mc Donalds milk shake syrup. leave in hot sun for a couple of weeks to ferment and then return to said cortina thats a smell.
Stinky car - creosote - captain chaos
>> I thought creosote was banned for being carcinogenic
It's the EU again.

So when are they going to ban diesels then? ;-)
Stinky car - creosote - smokie
It didn't smell much different despite the amount of deodorants sloshing round it it so I've spent some time today cleaning out the car (too many trips to the tip, not enough cleaning in between!).

Anyway, I have found a darkened very damp patch on the sort-of-carpeted back of the back seat (in the boot side, it becomes the loading bay when you fold the seat down). I think I had a spillage after all... It still seems pretty wet, so it may have seeped into the actual cushioning of the seat, which I realise may be a bigger problem.

The "carpet" (more like furry cardboard) is firmly glued to the seat back, and I'd sooner not wreck it if I don't have to.

So, how best to deal with it? For now, I'd like to try to dry it out (I guess a fan heater would help?) and/or clear it. Right now, I have simply swamped it with sprays. Quick bit of research suggests as it's oil based, a detergent should break it down (though it's runny already). There seem to be specialist products, but only in the US. One suggestion was Coca Cola, on affected clothes in a washing machine, but I don't think I want to try that one.

I'm going to drive over to Wickes to see what they've got. I have some hand cleanser called GoJo (Costco) which is supposed to clean diesel and grease from skin, how about that?

Also considering removing the seat back temporarily - if anyone knows how, please advise!

Edited by smokie on 06/01/2009 at 13:14

Stinky car - creosote - FotheringtonThomas
Anyway I have found a darkened very damp patch on the sort-of-carpeted back of the
back seat

Rip it off (carefully) ASAP. Clean whatever you can underneath. Stick a piece of cloth or carpet back on where the contaminated stuff was, using contact adhesive. You can put the creosoted sort-of-carpet through the washing machine on hot wash with detergent several times if you want, and I bet it'll *still* smell.
Stinky car - creosote - smokie
Is it likely to leave a smell in the washing machine?
Stinky car - creosote - tawse
Buy a load of cheap lemons, slice up and put in a bowl or bucket, add hot water and leave in the car. You probably will need to keep heating up the water in some way as what you want is the hot water to steam off the lemons and get the lemon scent moving around your car. Limes work as well - why not try half and half?

You can do the same thing on a much smaller scale to get rid of smells from your fridge although I hope you have not been keeping creosote in your fridge! :-)

The creosote fumes will have invaded into the fabric of your car - seats, roof lining, carpets, etc. You need something pleasant that does similar so it would be lemons and limes for me but the onion option suggested might also work. You are going to need a load of lemons also so I suggest a trip to somewhere cheap like Aldi or Lidl.

As always children, be careful when using hot water.

Stinky car - creosote - smokie
The carpet doesn't come off - it's integral with the back of the seat, which is obviously properly fitted with the leather trim covering edges etc. I would stand a good chance of wrecking it if I tried to get it off. Just done some tamping with kitchen towel and have got quite a bit up (managed to break the display on new work phone in the process!!) so am going to do some more of that for now. My thinking is that it will be easier to deal with once it's dry.
Stinky car - creosote - FotheringtonThomas
I have put creosoty clothing in a washing machine, an ordinary front loading one, and there were no ill effects to the machine. The clothes still smelt rather strongly for a couple of further washes, though. I wouldn't be inclined to put anything else in the machine at the same time as the creosoted stuff, though!
Stinky car - creosote - Dynamic Dave
Also considering removing the seat back temporarily - if anyone knows how please advise!

Someone over on will probably know.
Stinky car - creosote - smokie
Thanks Dave, have now posted there.

I've got the carpet off after all, seems that might be the least of my probs - the creosote has soaked into the foam at the bottom of the seat back (backrest) so unless it dries out without a whiff, I reckon I'll have to replace the seat back.

Having broken my phone earlier, I have just finished unblocking the loo where I (probably wrongly) ditched the kitchen towel which I was using to soak it all up. Not having a fun time here!!
Stinky car - creosote - Alanovich
Good grief! Anyone else got the "Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em" theme rattling around their bronzie?

Stinky car - creosote - smokie
An update. Last week I spent ages trying to get the rear seat apart and out of the car, finally completed this on Friday (takes about 2 minutes when you know how and have the right tools and attitude!) I now can see the extent of the spillage - there was a lot more creosote spilt than I realised. The car still smells bad and anything which spends a significant amount of time in the car also smells when it comes out. The following parts are damaged:

- Seat back carpeting (shame, but not a huge deal)

- Foam filling for seat back (leather covered) - too much seeped around to cut out, ideally would need re-padding

- What I think is sound deadening material stuck to the bodywork under the rear seat. This appears to have taken the brunt of it, and has absorbed loads. I'm spraying it hourly with WD40 which is gradually flushing it out, but there appears to be no end to it.

So, to the questions...

With protected no claims, a £250 excess and a stinky car, should I now chuck this at my insurers or am I too late?

If so, what's the chances of them writing it off on grounds of smell - might be worth £3k on a good day ??? (I've tried getting replacement seat from scrappies - no luck - so a new one, or professional re-upholstery would cost quite a bit I'd imagine).

Does anyone know how the sound deadening stuff is stuck on, or more to the point how to get it off easily - it's stuck fast - if I could get that off then it would save a lot of time & effort (it's painted over in near- body colour)

Rather than keeping the creosote wet by spraying with WD40, and dabbing it out, would I do better to let it dry and hope the whiff (v strong) will go away?

Stinky car - creosote - rtj70
Now you know the extend of the problem - have you tried asking a Vauxhall dealer what they would do? They might have a better idea.

The car in its current state is probably almost unusable (is creosote flammable?) and fixing it costly. But if they would write it off who knows.

But it sounds like if you get it out of the sound deadening/proofing material or could replace it then that's a big part of the problem sorted. That's where VX might have some ideas.
Stinky car - creosote - pmh2
IIRC A friend of mine had a brand new Citroen Synergie written off by the insurers after a 5L can of Wickes solvent based wood treatment fluid fell over and leaked into all the inaccessible places. The solvent also attacked cable insulation - can you imagine the effect on CANBUS after a few years if the vehicle found its way back on to the road?

Does creosote have any solvent properties?

Stinky car - creosote - oldnotbold
Creosote is distilled from crude coke oven tar, and is mainly composed of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), but also contains phenols and cresols.

Google "creosote COSHH" - plenty to read!
Stinky car - creosote - rtj70


Eliminate sources of ignition.
Prevent liquid from entering sewers or drains.
Keep public away from the area.
Shut off source if possible to do so without hazard.
Inform the local authority and fire service should the material enter drains, watercourse or has contaminated soil or vegetation.
Contain spillage with earth or sand.
Recover by pumping (use an explosive proof electrical pump or hand pump) If liquid is too viscous for pumping, scrape up with shovels or pails and place in suitable containers for recycling or disposal.
Consult an expert on disposal of recovered material and ensure conformity with local disposal regulations.


Avoid unnecessary skin contact (use of barrier cream can be beneficial). Use of Personal Protective Equipment may be appropriate (Face screen, impervious PVC/Synthetic rubber gloves). Not to be used on internal timbers. Ensure area is well ventilated and take care to prevent build up of vapour. If using the product in a confined space it is recommended that mechanical ventilation be employed to prevent vapour build up.
Stinky car - creosote - FotheringtonThomas
If so what's the chances of them writing it off on grounds of smell -
might be worth £3k on a good day ???

Probably quite reasunable, especially given the creosote "scare".
(I've tried getting replacement seat from
scrappies - no luck

Have you tries 1stchoice?
- so a new one or professional re-upholstery would cost quite a bit I'd imagine).

Ask an upholsterer.

Does anyone know how the sound deadening stuff is stuck on or more to the
point how to get it off easily - it's stuck fast - if I could
get that off then it would save a lot of time & effort (it's painted
over in near- body colour)

Mechanical scraping is most probably the best bet.

Rather than keeping the creosote wet by spraying with WD40 and dabbing it out would
I do better to let it dry and hope the whiff (v strong) will go

I'm buying shares in the WD-40 Company Ltd. if you're going to do that! I doubt it'll dry in the next few tears in any case.
Stinky car - creosote - smokie
Hadn't used 1stchoice but have now completed their web form. They claim to cover 250 breakers. I already contacted three other companies with similar claims and no-one has offered me the part yet - but thanks.

Will have a look at whether I can scrape off the soundproofing stuff. I'm really not too bothered if the non-visible bits of the car end up being a bit of a mess.

Just following up on Rob's suggestion, I'll try to get to my local body shop this pm. The local Vx dealer doesn't have their own and farm it out to this place. Just called an uphostelerer (sp?) and he estimated around £100 to re-foam the seat back - which assumes the leather is OK, which it isn't, but it's very thin so maybe wouldn't matter.

I'd been thinking about changing the car anyway. This could well precipitate that, one way or another.
Stinky car - creosote - Mapmaker
What a nightmare. And HOW stupid does one feel when one does something like this.
Stinky car - creosote - tawse
I see you have not tried either the onion or the lemon/lime ideas.
Stinky car - creosote - smokie
Crash repairers said they don't really do upholstery, will try other place tomorrow. He said cost of a new seat rear is likely to be well over £1k (wow!) because it's leather and not in production, and also that Vx are quite dear for that kind of thing (compared to Ford). Remainder pales into insignificance by comparison... He considered it possible that the insurers might write off the car because of the lingering small (and health risk) but thought it unlikely. He thought my £3k valuation too low.

Anyway, I've given up with WD40 for now and moved onto neat petrol. Slosh it all over and then wiping it up with old newspaper. Will see how it smells tomorrow, when I will probably do the obvious - try to get the sound lining off. Bloke in the repairers said that they use heat to soften the glue, then it virtually peels off. Bit of a problem there though right now, with all the inflammable material around!!!

So, if I can clean that up, I'm left with the seat back foam (which I might be able to cut enough off and not notice) and the seat back carpet (which may or may not clean up).

There are a million different flavour air freshener devices in the car, and regular spraying happens too (trying to avoid residual smell in headlining, front seats, carpets etc), Bag of charcoal on the floor.

And yes Mappy, I feel incredibly stupid and somewhat annoyed with myself. First cos it happened because I doing what I thought was a Good Samaritan bit by clearing my late father in law's sheds because I thought brother in law was against paying for house clearers, but it now transpires that he is OK with the idea. Next because it spilt within 10 miles of leaving his house but I continued the 70 mile journey without bothering to check, despite the smell, and when there was a queue at the tip I turned around and went home for a few hours, and still didn't bother checking, so the creosote had plenty of time to work it's way into everything. Lastly that my attempt to save a few bob will end up being very costly in time and probably in money.
Stinky car - creosote - FotheringtonThomas
FWIW you can get stick-on sound deadening stuff.

Talk to an upholsterer about your seat (!). Try
Stinky car - creosote - oldnotbold
Why not get any seat (regardless of colour/fabric) that fits while you wait for a leather one to come up?

Edited by oldnotbold on 12/01/2009 at 16:11

Stinky car - creosote - smokie
Thanks F-T - I have two independent recommendations for a local specialist car upholsterers company already - and could only see 1 car company in that list - but will keep the link just in case. Where would I get the sound stuff? Halfords?

Re using any old back seat, I rarely carry back seat passengers so absence of teh seat isn't a problem. And anyway, few people want to travel in my car at present...they come out smelling of it too :-)

Edited by smokie on 12/01/2009 at 16:18

Stinky car - creosote - FotheringtonThomas
I have two independent recommendations for a local specialist car upholsterers

Any "Master Upholsterer" should be able to do this - I knew one who did almost all furniture stuff, but relished doing a few motorbike seats/car upholstery. I visited him some years ago when there was fifty thou & odd's worth of high-spec Range Rover outside in the yard - brand new. It'd been supplied with the *wrong colour* seats, & he was in the process of changing the lot - Connoley hide, ISTR. The glass palace'd supplier had only realised when the customer received the thing, and had been told to "take it away and fix it this instance". Me? I wanted an arm chair repairing. Very much down the queue I was.
Stinky car - creosote - Fullchat
Sorry I seem to have missed it. What type of car is it and what age? Perhaps you might do better by asking for a complete interior rather than just on seat. Breakers prefer to sell them in sets and may be reluctant to part with a single item.
Stinky car - creosote - Pugugly
Anyfink on fleabay ?
Stinky car - creosote - Dynamic Dave
Anyfink on fleabay ?

Mentioned weekly over on (ebay section) that someone is selling a leather interior.
Stinky car - creosote - FotheringtonThomas
Mentioned weekly over on (ebay section) that someone is selling a
leather interior.

My BIL has a "leather interior" pinched from some sort of SRi thing, and it caused him *endless* trouble. Reccaro seats (sp?)? Perhaps that one ended up on "ebay". Perhaps somewhere else...

Edited by FotheringtonThomas on 13/01/2009 at 00:56

Stinky car - creosote - FocusDriver
What a nightmare smokie. I recommended the untreated charcoal but it's no use trying odour removers with creosote (yes the EU banned it, you can only get creoCOAT now which is so useless you might as well paint your shed with red wine), it's there forever unless you manage to get new seats. I hesitate to ask, in view of this creosote incident, whether it worked for the stale tobacco smell?

For what it's worth, I'd ring up my insurer. I wouldn't worry about the time lag at all. Just explain you assumed it could be cleaned up relatively easily. If they're reputable they should at least humour you. You don't just pay insurance for RTAs. If they refuse, nothing lost.

Good luck anyway, from reading this thread you've had a very busy day.
Stinky car - creosote - Pugugly
Just had some railway sleepers laid in my garden - giant notice on them as to how dangerous the Creosote coating is. We used to get covered in this stuff as kids (allegedly painting grannie's fences) with little long term damage - apart from (in my sister's case) a strange brown tint.
Stinky car - creosote - Fullchat
Only thing with insurers is they like notice straight away so that they can instruct some industrial cleaner to have a go. Bit like spilling something on your carpet at home.
Stinky car - creosote - rtj70
At this point in this situation I'd be on to the insurer. Saying I thought it was a small spill but now realise it is worse.... To try to reduce the damage I have taken out seats etc.

If the sound insulation can be removed/repaired and a new rear seat the problem is solved. If not a potential write-off. It is in their interest to fix this as cheaply as possible instead of writing it off.

Now I have taken paint etc to the recycling site to leave so it can be dealt with properly. Reading this I might not risk again - so it would then end up in land fill. We cannot win on green issues at times.
Stinky car - creosote - Pugugly
Have you thought of a specialist cleaner (Human) ??

Edited by Pugugly on 12/01/2009 at 20:16

Stinky car - creosote - smokie
Thanks all, as ever I'm trying to do this on the cheap.

Car is 04 Vectra 3.2 Elite, leather interior. I've now found a few possibilities on fleabay and mailed the sellers, so far two have said they don't have the part and one wants to sell the entire interior.

Having swilled a lot of petrol on it this afternoon, I *think* the stink is less noticeable this evening. Tons of real black stuff came away on newspaper. Luckily I gave up smoking today... :-)

I'm not really sure what a specialist cleaner can bring to the party (!) - there is little general consensus on the best way to deal with it, in particular what products would be best.

However if it's still bad in the morning I am going to try to remove the soundproofing stuff, as that's the only bit left in the car which is contaminated. If it is considerably better, I'll give it another few pints of unleaded as that seems to be doing the trick.

I think I said above that the local guy reckoned up to £100 to re-foam the seat, or I may simply be able to cut out the contaminated foam, so that'd be that bit sorted. leaving just the back-of-seat carpet which I'm not overly concerned with, but can probably soak that in petrol and let it all drip out.

I'm reluctant to involve the insurers now. I think I'm making good enough progress to not jeopardise my no claims etc, and I suspect that they'd use a specialist cleaner who wouldn't get a much better result than I seem to be getting.

Dependent on judgement tomorrow morning, that is.
Stinky car - creosote - smokie
UPDATE: With the help of Mrs S's hair dryer (that'll get me in trouble!) I have successfully removed all the contaminated material from inside the car, save a few spits and spots. So all I have to deal in the car with is the lingering smell, which seemed less strong today anyway.

The seat back has been sitting outdoors since Sunday and still stinks, so I'll take that to the upholsterer's for a quote. If it's too much I will hack out the contaminated part, stuff it with some bubble wrap (OK, foam...), and re-assemble it. It's not as though many people sit in the back anyway, so I doubt it'll get noticed.

I will enquire at Vx about buying replacement seat-back carpet, or suspend it in petrol, or run it through the wash or something.

Anyone want to buy a Vectra, one careful owner? (then me!!) :-)

Edited by smokie on 13/01/2009 at 14:31

Stinky car - creosote - Dynamic Dave
Just thinking aloud. Would a steam cleaner help shift some of the creosote?
Stinky car - creosote - Mapmaker
>>With protected no claims, a £250 excess and a stinky car, should I now chuck this at
my insurers or am I too late?

>>If so, what's the chances of them writing it off on grounds of smell - might be worth
>>£3k on a good day ???

So it'd cost you about £500 with premium loading over the next 3-5 years, I'd guess?

In which case, if you put it on eBay - disclosing the issue - and get more than £2,500, which you probably will, then you're quids in.

Somebody will buy it, despite gentle smell, surely...
Stinky car - creosote - rtj70
Smell of petrol and creosote... Air Wick should have one of these ;-)

If smokie is making progress with creosote (where does the recycled petrol/WD40 go?) then maybe he's better off continuing?

Or a match... but how to explain petrol and creosote in a diesel car?
Stinky car - creosote - George Porge
Try pressure washing (keep the lance a distance fro the carpet to prevent bald spots) the carpet after dosing with washing powder and a stiff brush.

I've removed covers from seats before now and washed in a washing machine
Stinky car - creosote - smokie
Steam cleaning sounds a good idea - I have a stripper with multi-purpose heads (no, not that kind of stripper!!). I quite enjoyed playing with neat petrol too! :-)

Also have a pressure washer, may try that too. The carpet is more like a piece of furry card though. It's already limp where the creosote is, so I doubt I can mess it up much more...

EDIT: missed responding to rjt - the affected area was the bodywork under the back seat, which luckily is a hollowed area. So although I sloshed a mixture of fluids on it yesterday, and spread it around a lot with a paint brush, I was able to mop up with kitchen towel or newspaper reasonably easily.

Edited by smokie on 13/01/2009 at 22:52

Stinky car - creosote - smokie
I placed this in the hands of my insurer this week. After a bit of a to-do with the repairer telling me it is driveable, and can't be looked at till 12 Feb, even though the insurer agreeing it wasn't, it went in today.

Their initial assessment is a repair bill of around £3800.

Quite how they arrived at that I don't know. I know it needed a new rear seat back (£550+VAT from Vx) and probably a new seat bench. Also the rear carpeting and some soundproofing. I did also make the point that even though the parts which were worst affected had been out of the car for 2+ weeks, it still smelt -and I wanted it to not smell once it came back from them, so maybe they went for the full interior...

If the insurance company assessor agrees, that has to be very close to being a write off I'd have thought (Vectra 04 Elite 3.2, 70k, average condition)

Expensive half jar of creosote, for that's all it was!!

Now, what shall I have next I wonder??? I think it would probably be a Mondeo of some sort. Requirements- fast (130+), brisk (0 - 60 sub 9 secs), cruise control, pref not 17" wheels, hatchback, reasonable VED, reasonable mileage and a cost (say) up to £6k. Will start a new thread on this if and when the situation arises...

(If they write it off, would there be much point in me making them an offer, if so, how much?)

Stinky car - creosote - rtj70
(If they write it off, would there be much point in me making them an offer,
if so, how much?)

I'd have thought it will be very difficult to get rid of the smell and the cost to replace the interior is more than the car is worth.

If you're after a Mk III Mondeo, then sounds like a 2.2 diesel (Titanium or ST) or an ST220 to me.
Stinky car - creosote - Blue {P}
Surely they could just strip the car to it's shell, pressure wash and steam clean the thing down and then refit new bits where necessary? I'm shocked that the bill is so high, no wonder our premiums are through the roof!

Stinky car - creosote - rtj70
But the cost to do what you suggest Blue is probably more than it's market value. Agree it could and should be done. To scrap a car that is fixable is wrong.

Having thought about smokie's earlier question on write off... if you could get hold of new seats etc. cheap it might be worth a punt. But personally I'd either want it sorted on insurance or it written off.
Stinky car - creosote - smokie
Been trying to source seats etc for a few weeks with no success. I've also spent hours trying to clean it. Without the seats in, it was fairly smell free - you notice it when you first get in but soon get used to it (which wouldn't be acceptable on an ongoing basis, as the smell sticks to your clothes). Eventually decided I had no choice but to go through the insurers.

I'd already priced up the damaged half of the back seat rear from Vauxhall - £550 + VAT. Then there's the actual bench, plus carpeting etc. Maybe the realised the smell wouldn't go and re-priced for a enw interior (it is leather btw, which I guess is more expensive new, and more scarce 2nd hand).

Trade in value (according to Vx site) is not a lot more than £3k. Would cost more like £4k to replace(from ads in autotrader). Just have to wait and see what they decide....
Stinky car - creosote - Pugugly
Get it written off and buy it back as a bargain. Do it up in your own time ?