Toyota Division has relaxed its standards for certified used vehicles to get more vehicles into the program.
Toyota says it has had a shortage of certified used vehicles for more than a year.
The new rules were scheduled to take effect Saturday, Oct. 1. The mileage limit for vehicles eligible for certification has been increased by 20,000 miles, says Norm Olson, sales operations manager of Toyota Certified Used Vehicles. Eligible vehicles now can be one model year older.
Toyota also added a 3,000 mile/90-day comprehensive warranty that starts from the time the vehicle was purchased as certified.
Olson says the revised program will allow dealers to certify more vehicles -- especially trade-ins. Those vehicles tend to be older and have more mileage than off-lease vehicles.
Olson says dealers believe the supply of certified vehicles will grow by 7 to 10 percent. Toyota expects the changes will help it sell about 240,000 certified used vehicles in 2005, almost 5 percent more than in 2004.
"We need a bigger supply of inventory; our cars are in high demand," Olson says.
To be eligible under the revised program, vehicles must be no more than seven model years old and have fewer than 85,000 miles on their odometers. The limited powertrain warranty, which starts from the date the vehicle was sold as new, is now 84 months/100,000 miles.
Previously, vehicles had to be six model years old or less and have no more than 65,000 miles on the odometer. The powertrain warranty had been 72 months/100,000 miles.
Roadside assistance is extended by a year, to 84 months/100,000 miles.
In the late-1990s, off-lease vehicles were the bread and butter of Toyota's certified used-vehicle program, Olson says. Like other manufacturers, Toyota reduced the number of vehicles it leased starting in 2000. Those vehicles began returning to the market in 2004, but in smaller numbers than in previous years.
You may e-mail Arlena Sawyers at