Based on the Toyota Global Standards, Toyota has been taking action to achieve the early elimination of the use of the four substances of concern (lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium). In August 2006, their usage was completely eliminated at all production affiliates in Japan (except for some components, such as batteries, that are exempt from ban). Parts containing hexavalent chromium were the most numerous and eliminating its usage required considerable effort. In accordance with voluntary standards established by the automobile industry in Japan banning their use beginning in 2008, Toyota has completed, well in advance, the implementation of responses to eliminate usage of the four substances. The Lexus LS460 launched in Japan in September 2006, and the Corolla launched the following month, marking the first two vehicles to completely eliminate the usage of the four substances of concern.
Use of these substances was basically eliminated at major overseas plants by the end of 2007.
Though sodium azide was used worldwide as a gas generator in airbags, Toyota, working in close cooperation with parts manufacturers, has developed airbags that employ a substituent compound, thus eliminating the use of sodium azide. In addition, in 1997, Toyota developed and adopted airbag connectors that are standardized for all manufacturers in Japan thereby enabling simultaneous deployment of airbags in the driver's seat, as well as in the front passenger seat. Toyota also has studied and adopted designs that facilitate the easy removal of airbags.
In the Prius, Toyota is using environmentally considerate recyclable materials, renewable resources and the "Easy to Dismantle Mark," as well as easy-to-dismantle structures in many vehicle body parts. Toyota also basically eliminated the use of the four banned substances, for example, using a resin fuel tank and elimination of lead in the wiring harness shield.
TSOP: Toyota Super Olefin Polymer
TPO: Thermo Plastic Olefin
RSPP: Recycled Sound-Proofing Products
Environmentally Considerate Recyclable Materials Used in the Prius