Cabin filters are one of those items that you’ll just replace during a regular oil change because it’s relatively cheap. Honda has been in tune with the times and have now developed what basically is a face mask for your vehicle. Which to be honest, sounds perfectly fine for what ever is going on in the world at the moment. It’s basically a thin mask over your existing cabin filter.

Released on Christmas Day of 2020 and named the ‘Kurumask’, which is actually a wordplay of car-mask as ‘Kuruma’ is the Japanese word for ‘car’. Honda says it was created by a zinc-phosphate chemical treatment that is similar to one used for rust prevention on cars. Supposedly, “It shields occupants with a specially developed surface comprising millions of thorn-like protrusions at the nanometer level”.

According to Honda, the Kurumask would normally have taken several years to develop such a product, but because of the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic, Honda fast-tracked the project and released it on an accelerated schedule. Since the outbreak, Honda has been working with local governments in Japan on vehicles for transporting COVID-19 patients. This was one of the innovations resulting from said program.

The Kurumask was developed in a collaboration between Honda and the Kitasato Research Center for Environmental Science. Within 15 minutes, the Kurumask can remove 99.8 percent of airborne coronavirus droplets in a car. The mask is good for 15,000km before it needs to be replaced. It also helps filter out other types of viruses and not just the coronavirus.

The Kurumask is currently made available for one model, the N-Box. Which is a kei car that’s only sold in Japan (unless you can find them at local grey import dealers). It’s available as a dealer accessory and costs about RM273.00. However, Honda hopes to quickly ramp up production so that it can make Kurumasks for a variety of its models and it might be available soon elsewhere in the world.

Images by | Honda