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In response to mounting pressure on industries to cope with environmental problems, Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday it will introduce an environment-assessment system in 2004 to produce cleaner vehicles.

The Eco-Vehicle Assessment System allows chief vehicle development engineers to use a computer network to control the environmental performance of new models, officials of the nation’s largest carmaker said.

The computer network will contain a database of the environmental performance of Toyota vehicles, including fuel efficiency, exhaust emissions and information on recyclable auto parts, they said.

“This system enables (our engineers) to know the environmental impact of our vehicles and helps them develop cleaner cars,” Toyota President Fujio Cho said.

Under the system, the engineers set targets to reduce each new model’s impact on the environment, check whether the targets can be achieved at each developmental stage, including design and model prototypes, and make necessary changes.

Toyota currently takes one to two months to assess its vehicles’ environmental performance, but the new system will allow engineers to access immediately such information via the new computer network, company officials said.

Toyota will start operating the new computer network in 2004 and hopes to apply the vehicle assessment method to development of new models in 2005.

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