TORRANCE, CA - Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. recently distributed a bulletin to collision repair centers, warning them that the use of non-OEM parts on Toyota vehicles has the potential to compromise vehicle safety and performance. 

The bulletin, dated Nov. 30, warns body shops that Toyota, Lexus and Scion do not recommend the use of aftermarket, rebuilt or salvage/recycled parts in the repair of their vehicles. In explaining its position on non-OEM crash parts, Toyota cites "the sensitive nature of the safety and performance systems and lack of testing to determine their effect on vehicle crashworthiness." 

The bulletin adds: "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."

Toyota's bulletin also raises concerns that non-OEM parts have the potential to cause airbags and seatbelt pretensioners to malfunction during a collision because such supplementary restraint system components rely upon precisely manufactured sensors.