By on April 18, 2011


Large parts of Japan’s auto production have been down following the March 11 quake and tsunami. Production of large Japanese carmakers like Toyota and Honda is now running at 50 percent capacity. There is something else that affects export: Fear of radiation.

The fear is mostly irrational: The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association has not received any reports of radiating cars  being unloaded abroad.  While other countries have put import restrictions on agricultural, dairy products and processed foods from Japan, cars may pass unhindered. What the JAMA has received are questions whether the cars are safe. To put these fears to rest, JAMA has devised a testing regimen.

According to the test plan, each car maker tests about 10 vehicles per ship for radiation. A car carrier holds 5,000 vehicles on average.  Toyota for instance is now “measuring the radiation levels of its export vehicles, parts for overseas assembly and service parts.” In doing so, Toyota so far “has found that such radiation levels are no different than that of the surrounding air,” the company says in a statement.



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5 Comments on “Japanese Automakers Check Cars For Radiation...”

  • avatar

    God help people if they ever find out a) that we irradiate food, or b) that eating a banana triples your normal exposure.

  • avatar

    Yes – that radiation from Japanese cars will kill you. It’s not the type 2 diabetes epidemic sweeping the country, obesity, smoking, lack of exercise or those drugs you got into last weekend – it’s radiation from imported cars. Sure the probability that the car itself will kill you in an accident is probably a million times higher but I’m keeping my lawyer on speed dial just in case.

  • avatar

    I have no comment; I just want to say “hot hatch”.

  • avatar

    Irradiation of food is not the same as a vehicle being contminated with, at worse, MOX fallout.

    But I am more fascinated by the giger-counter pic … Lionel Electronic Labs … any relation to Lionel trains I wonder…

  • avatar

    yes. One of Lionel Corporation’s steps beyond electric trains in the late 1950’s.

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