• Mar 28, 2011
If you've watched any of the news coverage of the Japan earthquake, you've likely seen the tsunami footage showing cars being tossed around like Hot Wheels. The waterlogged vehicles number in the thousands, and the Japanese government has a big task in cleaning up the mess.

Reuters reports that workers are using construction equipment to lift the vehicles onto trucks, which then take the damaged cars and trucks to auto graveyards in the now-dry flood plains in and around the quake zone. The vehicles are reportedly lined up in sprawling rows, with the license plates all facing the same direction so owners can easily locate their wrecked rides. The workers even have color-coated spray painting that indicates whether the vehicle has a body in it that needs to be removed; a grim reminder of just how tragic this natural disaster was.

Most owners are simply removing any belongings that remain in the car, along with the vehicle's license plate. Removing the plate and having proper registration information will reportedly make it easier for owners of destroyed vehicles to collect insurance for their loss. In the long term, many of these vehicles will likely be crushed after being disassembled for key parts.

[Source: Reuters | Image: Wally Santana/AP]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      export them to the Americans, they'll buy them...
      • 3 Years Ago
      Here is your car.. and your mother and father who were driving it. Yikes.. grim reminder indeed.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Seeing how these vehicles have been through a flood, I don't see that there will be any salvageable parts. This could dwarf the task that southern Louisiana faced after Hurricane Katrina, when something like 500,000 vehicles were swamped.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Pretty much anything sheet metal or plastic is salvageable... Not saying that I'd want to receive a "Japan tsunami hood" as a replacement part, but the point stands.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very distasteful Autoblog, this and the last article you guys did on the tragedy make me not want to read your blog somewhat. Please change the picture used on this article and be mindful of the wording, not so much this article, but the prior one was a bit crass.
      Imagine if that was one of your family members in the car second from left.. You wouldn't be using this image would you?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Chilling scene.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anyone else freaked out a bit that the second car from the left has colored spraypaint on it?
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's standard practice in many countries (particularly in multiple pile-ups where fire break out and vehicles become less recognisable) to number the vehicle with spray paint for identification purposes.
        • 3 Years Ago
        ...and almost looks like there's a leg lying on the dashboard...
        • 3 Years Ago
        I personally find it tasteless that Autoblog would post a picture containing such a car.

        I would have much rather seen it cropped out - and thats coming from someone who has lost a friend in the Tsunami.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Uhg that just makes my stomach drop :( I can't imagine finding my car and there's spray paint on the front marking a body inside... What do ya do then?? God bless you Japan.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I know how you feel... some people shared so many memories with their cars, especially tuners. I feel horrible that the tsunami single-handedly destroyed these memories.

        Lost memories. I'm sure this is one of the many reasons why our refugees are starting to suffer from emotional issues. I really hope that they get back on their feet.