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What Happens To A Dead Lexus

Jun 13, 2008
Lexus is a luxury car of lasting performance and style. Buying a used Lexus holds no stigma for they will still be cars of quality. However, there will come a point when that used Lexus is as dead as a do-do and then what happens to it? How many of them do you see parked in a layby, up on bricks? How many do you see used for banger racing? That's right - very few.

That's because Toyota, the parent company of Lexus, have introduced initiatives just as BMW have undertaken to reduce their impact on the environment when a used car needs to be disposed of. The extent of re-using and recycling often depends on how strict Government regulations are in within any given country. America has less stringent rules and therefore have no major recycling plants for a used Lexus whereas Europe and Japan take their responsibilities a little more seriously.

Part of Government initiatives to reduce environmental damage include encouraging car manufacturers to implement ways for their customers to dispose of used cars with thought and consideration for the world's delicate eco system. With an estimated 125 million cars on the road, that's a lot of scrap materials that will need to be dealt with at some point or another.

For their part, Toyota and Lexus have come up with The Lexus Environmental Assistance Network which supplies all dealers with websites containing up to date information on waste management. This means that no used Lexus dealer has any excuse not to inform its customers about how they can do their bit to reduce their carbon footprint and numerous components can be returned for precision factory remanufacture and re-sale.

Add to this the Automobile Shredder Residue Recycling plants that Toyota and Lexus have built up and there is no doubt that they are taking a pro-active stance in dealing with a dead Lexus considerately.

Toyota Motor Company opened the world's first mass production recycling plant in 1998, setting a precedent for other car manufacturers to follow. By 2005, they had the capabilities to process 560,000 tons of vehicle waste per year. Any parts that can be re-conditioned and re-used will be removed and processed to make them as good as new. This leaves urethane foam, fibre, copper, glass and plastics that can be re-used and reformed into something else that will work just as well.

All the recyclable materials on a used Lexus now amount to 85% of the vehicle, leaving only 15% for landfill sites and that's a pretty impressive figure. The aim for the future is to make 95% of vehicle parts and materials re-usable or recyclable. Of course, this all depends on how eco-friendly the vehicle is in original manufacture and Lexus aim to make their vehicles lighter whilst being just as strong with better fuel consumption and less emissions. If these things are taken into consideration, you can then start to look at how materials can be re-used alter on in the used Lexus life.

What concerns me is that the technology already exists to separate all types of plastics involved in car building to a purity of 99% but companies have decided that is is so far uneconomical. How can you put a price on saving the very environment we live in?
About the Author
Environmental expert Catherine Harvey looks at the way a used Lexus is disposed of in a responsible manner.
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