Design for Recycling (Based on Eco-VAS)

New Development of Automobiles Based on the DfR (design for recycling) Concept

In order to increase the recovery rate of ELVs (end-of-life vehicles, Toyota has been working on developing easy-to-recycle materials and designs that allow for easy removal, starting at the design stage. Many of the results from these efforts have been incorporated into the new Raum, which launched in May 2003, and other models launched after that.

Key Points in Improving Recyclability

In advance of the enforcement of the Automobile Recycling Law, Toyota has been developing easy-to-recycle vehicle structures and taking steps to reduce substances of concern. Toyota's main efforts in this area focus on the following two key points:

  1. Ease of dismantling
  2. Adoption of environment-friendly technologies

Shortening the Necessary Dismantling Time by 30%

In pursuit of an easy-to-dismantle vehicle structure, Toyota employed innovative dismantling techniques in the new Raum and has succeeded in shortening the time required for dismantling by 30% compared to the previous model. Improvements were made in individual processes, including fluid removal and removal of large resin parts, resulting in increased dismantling efficiency.

Toyota took the following specific steps:

  1. Adoption of structures that allow fastened areas to come apart when pulled hard
  2. Use of clips instead of screws for securing components whenever possible
  3. Parts integration
  4. Avoidance of composite materials

Comparison of Dismantling Time by Process (Assuming the Dismantling Time for the Previous Model to Be 100)

Comparison of Dismantling Time by Process (Assuming the Dismantling Time for the Previous Model to Be 100)

Development and Adoption of the "Easy to Dismantle Mark"

In order to simplify the dismantling process, Toyota designed a new "Easy to Dismantle Mark." This mark is added to vehicle parts, clearly indicating certain points that assist in initial dismantling, such as the positions at which large resin parts can be easily separated and the locations at which holes can be drilled for removing fuel.

Significant Reduction in Substances of Concern

With the new Raum, Toyota also worked on reducing substances of concern.

1) Lead:

Toyota eliminated lead from wire harness shields and fuel tanks and has achieved ahead of schedule the Japanese automobile industry's voluntary goal of reducing lead usage to 1/10 or less of the 1996 level in 2006 (reduction to 1/4 of the previous model or 123g/unit).

2) Mercury:

Toyota has achieved ahead of schedule the voluntary goals set by the Japanese automobile industry prohibiting the usage of mercury in parts other than LCD (liquid crystal) displays of navigation systems and certain other parts from 2004.

3) Cadmium:

Toyota has abolished the use of cadmium in fog lights and turn signal lamp bulbs.

4) Hexavalent chromium:

Toyota began using alternative materials in some nuts and bolts, etc.

Use of Environment-friendly Materials

Toyota has actively adopted materials with little environmental impact, such as recycled materials and eco plastics. LCA (life cycle assessment) results show that when recycled materials are used, CO2 emissions are reduced by approximately 52% compared to new materials.