News: Consolidator Report
In light of several tests that have recently been conducted on untested structural aftermarket parts by collision repair professionals, Toyota Motor Sales USA says it has become increasingly concerned with how the use of untested parts could potentially affect vehicle structure, airbag deployment and occupant safety.
Toyota has released the following position statement highlighting the company’s concerns about the potential risks that may be associated with repairing a vehicle using parts that may be untested:
Toyota Lexus and Scion vehicles are engineered and manufactured as an integrated assembly of carefully designed and manufactured parts working as a system to provide predictable performance, safety and durability.
To help preserve the performance of Toyota/Lexus/Scion vehicles, Toyota Scion and Lexus publishes detailed repair procedures and produces and sells Genuine Toyota/Lexus Parts, which are manufactured to the same specifications and tolerances as the parts installed on new Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles. Repairing a vehicle using Genuine Toyota/Lexus/Scion parts and procedures can help return Toyota vehicles to pre-loss condition following a collision.
The Use of Alternative Parts
Due to the sensitive nature of the safety and performance systems and lack of testing to determine their effect on vehicle crashworthiness, Toyota, Lexus and Scion do not recommend the use of alternative parts for the repair of Toyota vehicles. This includes:
Aftermarket parts: Parts manufactured and branded by a company other than Toyota, Scion or Lexus.
Rebuilt parts: Exterior sheet metal parts (including bumpers and wheels) removed from a damaged Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicle and refurbished for re-sale.
Salvage/recycled parts: Parts removed from a previously damaged vehicle, cleaned up and then installed on a different vehicle.
Overall Body Structure
Genuine Toyota, Lexus and Scion Parts are constructed using metals with specific properties, thicknesses and stamping structures built to perform in a consistent and predictable way during a collision event. The use of non-OEM structural components may compromise the overall crashworthiness and occupant safety of Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicles in a subsequent collision.
Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) Components
Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles are equipped with several SRS components, including airbags and seatbelt pretensioners, which are designed to help protect vehicle occupants from injury. These parts rely upon precisely manufactured sensors to detect a collision event and trigger the SRS components to deploy within milliseconds of an impact. The installation of parts branded by companies other than Toyota, Scion or Lexus that may not be tested to match Toyota, Lexus or Scion performance specifications may alter the structure of a vehicle and could result in improper operation of the SRS sensors and components.
Exterior Sheet Metal Parts
The exterior sheet metal components are often described as “cosmetic parts." However, these parts are designed and tested as part of the overall vehicle and may help send impact energy to the SRS sensors. In addition, some of these parts may help Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicles comply with several Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) including hood intrusion in the passenger cabin, preservation of proper door operation following a collision and proper airbag function. Alternative parts may not be crash tested to verify compliance with these standards.
Toyota, Lexus and Scion do not recommend the re-use of structural components that have been removed from a previously damaged vehicle. Although parts may appear equivalent, it may be difficult to identify previous damage, if a part has received collateral damage as a result of a prior collision or if the part has been subject to extreme weathering, corrosion or other detrimental environmental exposure. Furthermore, removing welded parts from a donor vehicle may compromise the structural integrity of the parts being used.