In North America, people treat their cars as dining rooms; the Ford Flex even comes with a mini-fridge. In other countries, this is unheard of; that's why there are restaurants and coffee shops. According to Edmunds, Ford did some testing in ten locations in a car interior and found significant bacterial growth.
Ford is now testing a silver-ion additive and other technologies that will stop the microbes.
"We weren't surprised to find microbial hot spots on the steering wheel, since that is where a driver's hands are most of the time," said Cindy Peters, a Ford technical expert, in a statement. "The console area near the cupholders is a common location for spilled drinks, so it provides an ideal feeding ground for microbes."
"Parts with the antimicrobial-treated coating are now undergoing real-world testing in a number of Ford development vehicles and the coating is being evaluated for potential use in future Ford vehicle programs," the automaker said.
Perhaps a better idea would be to just stop using the car as a dining room.