Ford Motor Company

There’s about 30 lbs. of polyurethane foam in the average vehicle. It’s in everything from headrests to seats and instrument panels. And usually, a key ingredient in that foam is petroleum.

But Ford Motor Company is experimenting with swapping out the petroleum for something that’s abundant in today’s environment: carbon dioxide.

“We conserve petroleum, we better the atmosphere and we make a very suitable material to use out of carbon dioxide,” saidDebbie Mielewski, Ford’s senior technical leader of sustainability.

Carbon dioxide is, of course, naturally in the atmosphere. But it’s also emitted from burning fossil fuels, and climate scientists have linked the earth’s quickly rising CO2 levels with climate change.

Ford’s new foam relies on a partnership with a company called Novomer that harvests waste carbon dioxide from sources like fossil fuel plants. Carbon capture technology hasn’t been proven to be economical on a large scale thus far.

Ford Motor Co. is telling owners of one version of the brand-new Louisville-built Ford Escape not to drive the SUVs until dealers can fix fuel lines that can crack and spill gasoline, causing engine fires. The company issued the unusual warning Thursday and said it is recalling 2013 Escapes equipped with 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines.

Thousands of 2013 Ford Escape vehicles produced in Kentucky are being recalled by the automaker. The vehicles have carpet that could interfere with breaking, and came off the assembly line between March 8 and June 7.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has signed a bill into law that’s designed to spur investments in the state’s automotive and parts manufacturing facilities. The bill amends the 2007 Kentucky Jobs Retention Act to allow manufacturers involved in the auto industry to request incentives, regardless of their location in the state.