General Motors is introducing a flame treatment technology that lets paint stick to plastic vehicle parts like instrument and door panels without using primers that contain solvents and can pollute the air.

GM obtained this technology through ‘Suppliers Partnership for the Environment’, a working group of US automakers, its suppliers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The flame treatment technology uses an energy-efficient, robotic system to create a molecular change to the surface of the plastic, making it bond with the paint.  The process eliminates the need for an adhesion-promoting primer, which is an energy-consuming and costly process.

GM says the technology improves efficiency since it is faster than spraying primer, and the capital expense pays for itself in less than four months. It is being used on the Chevrolet Cruze, SONIC , and Volt.