Carmakers attempting to navigate their way through a shortage of microchips while mitigating the effects of a global pandemic might have a new problem to worry about. The severe winter storms that left thousands without power and water in Texas in February 2021 also shut down the refineries that provide the raw materials in seat foam.
Getting to the root of the problem requires following a surprisingly long supply chain. Foam found in most car seats, under the upholstery, is often made with polyurethane, which is manufactured using an organic compound called propylene oxide. In turn, this industrial liquid is