• Apr 8, 2006
Back in 1999, Toyota Motor Corp. started to shift top coat painting for its automobile lines in Japan from organic-solvent paints to metallic water-borne paints as part of its goal to reduce volatile organic compounds (VOC). The company has just completed the rollout at its Motomachi plant.
The rollout completion, which is part of the automaker's Third Toyota Environmental Action Plan, has reduced emissions to an average of 30g/m2. Toyota plans to go even further to reducing VOC emissions to 25g/m2 by the year 2010 by switching to the water-borne paints to the middle coat and bumper painting lines.

Both Ford and Mazda have developed new paint procedures to deal with the VOC issues as well.

[Source: The Auto Channel]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Paint. Ahhh yes. I remember the "new" GM paint process back in the '80s. We saw the effect of these processes in a year or two. The non-official name was "blow-off blue", along with "snakeskin gray" and some others. There was a lot of money spent on repaints all the way into the early '90s. You still see some of these cars on the road today. They look like a dog with mange. Good luck with this, but beware for the first few years.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ah, I think this explains why my 89' Chevy Celebrity's paint was pealing so badly. I liked the car well enough, except after two transmission jobs and a new stearing column, I couldn't afford the repairs any more. I had to give it away--I couldn't even sell it for $50 with 130,000 miles.
      I expect water-based paint has improved a lot since then, especially if toyota has been working their toyota magic. Yeah, Toyota gets extra loving while GM just gets kicked a lot. But I don't think that there is any GM car that has had a waitlist like the toyota Prius for so many years. I also like the idea that toyota has a strong focus on environment. Although one car won't make a difference, collectively they will.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hello!!! GM started using water based paint in the 80's and they are still using it.

      Follow link look under replacement:

      http://www.gm.com/company/corp_info/global_operations/north_america/cana_osh_car.html

      Might want to think about this: While the paint has changed a lot, there are still some problems.

      Water borne paints have some drawbacks:

      First: Water borne paints are softer than acrylic oil based paints. The quick forced dry process using higher curing temperatures causes the paint to dry fast, but not as hard. As a result, these paints scratch more easily.

      Second: Water borne paints also have difficulties with increased orange peal and production line runs and sags. The increased orange peal causes a reduction in overall smoothness and gloss.

      Third: Water borne paints are also more porous than conventional acrylic finishes. This accelerates a process known as drift. Drift is the process of waxes and sealants soaking into the pores of the finish. Because the finish of a painted surface looks similar to the surface of the moon, peaks and valleys etc., as sealants heat and cool, they soak into the finish. Drift occurs in every known finish, however the water borne paint allows this process to occur much more rapidly, in some cases, even as short as a two week period of time. As drift occurs, the paint is left susceptible to the outdoor elements. This leads the paint to loose gloss and be susceptible to water spots, acid rain, industrial fallout and many other forms of foreign particles.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Funny how Ford and Mazda is mentioned but not GM.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Cowboy bob and Corey W hit it right on the head. The majority of old 80's GM cars and trucks I've seen have some sort of paint defect due to the "innovative" process they came up with back in the day. The reason why Toyota is being hailed for this process? Because they did it without it actually sucking. I'm no GM hater, but most everybody who preaches "buy American" will nitpick for any little tiny chink in Honda or Toyota's armor. It's a free country, get over it.

      And in regards to the Neon being griped about by Japanese engineers, Cab Forward design was something that was new to American production cars in the late 80's and early 90's, brought about by Chrysler and the Intrepid. It was ahead of it's time, and the Japanese weren't the only people critical of it. Regardless, they saw how successful it made the Neon and the LH platform cars, and incorporated that into the Civic. I hate to break it to you, but Chrysler didn't have a patent on it. It's called competition, and American car companies aren't totally innocent by your standards when it comes to designs, as evidenced by the entire American compact car segment.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, that wasn't limited to just GM... Around that time Ford and Chrysler were getting sued over the same paint process problems.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yes .. the Neon was the first (I thought) to use the water based paint during the first year of production way back in 1995.

      Seemed amazing. They used the powder coat below the paint to reduce chipping by that coating acting like a cushion.

      Funny how -- because Toyota does it -- it will be hailed as a reason to buy their vehicles; whereas the Americans have been doing it for a decade.

      I'm just grumpy because the new Civic has so many Neon features that the Japanese dealers were critical of -- cab-forward, macpherson struts, big A-Pillar, can't see the nose of the car, seating position different (cab forward). True the Civic is better then the Neon, now; but the Civic is brand new and the Neon came out in 1994(and costs at least $3000 less, or more recently $7000 less).

      Seems as though Toyota and Honda can do no wrong; and anything with an American brand gets looked down on. People believe all the hype too much.

      It is just like when your company hires from the outside, and you know there is more talent inside the company, but the company has a "real" history with its current workforce (so they know the good and bad) and only has resumes from the people on the outside (so they do not really know them except by the hype of the resume and references). If they hire that way, they will always go to the outside.