I didn't know there was a vinyl coating on the leather, but my 2012 Accent has a leather steering wheel and there is a thin skin of rubbery material that's staring to peel off like sunburned skin. That would explain it, as I never have seen leather peel before. I would be careful of using anything on it for fear of the same sort of issue on the seats, I have cloth seats, just leather on the steering wheel and gear shift knob. This is at only 15K miles.
That makes sense from what I'm seeing, but it shouldn't happen IMO, especially on a well cared for car with less than 16K miles and not even 2 years old yet. As I've stated before on this topic, my Toyota leather steering wheel is perfect after 12 years. There are pages and pages on this site for the same thing with Hyundai leather wheels. Obviously an inferior product or process of application of the polymer. I'm just surprised Hyundai still hasn't addressed the issue.Leather suppliers for automotive, for the most part, apply a thin polymer coating over the leather, to add protection and reduce the opportunity for body oils, etc to enter the pores of the leather and create staining.
Exceptions are some exotic's and such as the early Ford King Ranch leather.
Items such as steering wheels, are subjected daily to acidic body oils, which should be cleaned regularly with a mild solution of shampoo or Woolite, wiped then with a water dampened cloth and dried.
Everyone's body chemistry is different. Some people have very acidic skin and oils, which are what damages the surface of the leather.
Do not use harsh chemical cleaners, such as Simple Green, Castrol Super Clean, etc as they will break apart the chemical bond of the coating in a short time.
The acidic oil deposits MUST be cleaned regularly from the surface.
Yea, I have no doubt this is to increase the "bottom line" but in the process of saving a little money, you lose repeat buyers because of things like this, you don't grow your brand. What's the old saying? A penny wise and a pound foolish. Thanks for the info.Those sort of parts are sourced from outside vendors. Engineering will create a standard for a part, which then goes to purchasing. Purchasing is under the control of finance, and so often purchasing will take the best price. Build and sell a million vehicles, save $20 a vehicle on parts for each, that's the key.
Which may be why the head guy for quality control and two of his people "resigned" this week.
I use Griot's leather conditioner on my leather seats...my personal preference. Nice reviews. A bit pricey...around $16, less on sale. But you only need to use a thin amount. Microfiber cloth is perfect. Read the directions. READ THE DIRECTIONS! LOL There's enough product in the bottle to last you for years. And there's no shelf life on the contents. I called their 800# to inquire. So, no fear of it losing it's designed strength/potential. Shake well, before AND during the applications.
Automotive Leather (from 303 Products site)I regularly use 303 on my leather and once or twice a year give them a light coating/rubbing with mink oil. I like the mink oil since it replenishes the oils in the leather while the 303 provides periodic protection.