From: Kyodo News International, Tokyo
Published December 21, 2004 12:00 AM

Toyota to Market Almost Heavy Metal-Free Lexus in 2006, Japan Newspaper Says

Dec. 21—TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. plans to launch a vehicle free of lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium in 2006 to help reduce the disposal of environmentally harmful waste, the Nihon Keizai reported Tuesday.

The economic daily said this move will make Toyota the world's first automaker to do so. The new vehicle, probably a new Lexus LS, will still contain lead-acid batteries but will be released first in markets with stricter regulations like Europe and Japan.

Toyota has already developed a mercury-free lamp and stopped using lead in such parts as fuel tanks and meter parts, the report said, adding that Japan's largest automaker has also reduced its average use of lead in a new model to about a 10th of the 1996 level.

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© 2004, Kyodo News International, Tokyo. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

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