Toyota wants its U.S. car dealers to stop ordering more than 200 replacement parts made in Japan because it’s worried about running out of them.
The company has told dealers they can’t order 233 parts for Lexus, Scion and Toyota models unless they have a customer who needs one for a repair.
Toyota said that its parts inventory is adequate even though many parts supply factories were damaged by the March 11 earthquake in Japan. But it has restricted orders of some components made at more severely damaged plants to make sure they remain available.
“We are asking the dealers to refrain from ordering parts in excess of what they need,” Toyota spokesman Steve Curtis said Tuesday.
Dealers said the parts include brake rotors, body panels, shock absorbers and other components. They mainly are for the Prius gas-electric hybrid and hybrid versions of the Highlander SUV, and the Camry midsize sedan.
Production of most replacement parts resumed in Japan on March 17, and Toyota began shipping them to the U.S. soon after, Toyota’s said.
Curtis said Toyota currently has more than 300,000 parts. He did not know how many replacement parts are made in Japan.
About 70 percent of Toyota cars and trucks sold in the U.S. are built in North America, and roughly three out of four parts in those vehicles come from factories in the region, Toyota said.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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