Toyota Vehicle Sanitization

Collision Pros Magazine 2020 | ISSUE 02

Toyota Vehicle Sanitization

Help Keep Your Customers Safe

The COVID-19 crisis has changed how shops do business in so many ways. To help support you, Toyota has shared some best practices that help promote the safety of your customers and your shop employees. This information focuses on cleaning and disinfecting Toyota vehicles. It is intended to supplement your shop’s existing protocols, processes and procedures specific to the current pandemic.1

Every Vehicle, Every Time

In addition to respecting social distancing and other recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Toyota recommends that shops follow these basic actions with every customer vehicle:

  • Disinfect the vehicle when it’s brought into your shop, test-driven and before it’s returned to the customer.
  • If a vehicle may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, don’t touch the vehicle for 24 hours; then, disinfect it.
  • Always use steering wheel, seat, gear shift and floor mat covers in customer vehicles.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidelines

Properly cleaning and disinfecting vehicles are critical to help support the safety of your employees and customers. Toyota recommends concentrating on all high-touch areas in the interior and exterior of the vehicle, following these guidelines:


  • Use products and procedures for cleaning the vehicle as found in the Owner’s Manual.
  • Follow the instructions for use on those products, as well as any additional policies and procedures instituted by your shop, including instructions to wear gloves or any other personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • PPE can be found on the Toyota Approved Dealer Equipment site:


  1. Use appropriate material(s) for disinfection of high-touch areas. For a list of suitable disinfecting product types, selected for their compatibility with Toyota vehicle exteriors and interiors and adherence to current CDC and EPA guidelines, click the link below.
  2. Follow the instructions for use on those products and any additional policies and procedures instituted by your shop, including instructions to wear PPE.
  3. Focus on the high-touch areas illustrated below.


  • Interior Door Levers/Window & Door Lock Controls
  • Upper Door Trims/Armrests
  • Power Seat Switches
  • HVAC Vents/Controls
  • Steering Wheel/Buttons
  • Lower IP Various Buttons
  • Hood Release
  • Ignition Switch
  • Multifunction Levers
  • Radio Various Buttons
  • Center Console & Glove Box Buttons/Handle
  • Cup Holders
  • Shift Lever
  • Seat Belt Adjusters/Buckles/Locks
  • Seats If Necessary
  • Inner Mirror/Visors/Assist Handles/Moonroof Shade Handle/Map Lamps & Various Buttons (SOS/HomeLink/Sunroof)


Key Exterior Touchpoints

  • All Exterior Handles
  • Fuel Lid/Gas Cap
  • Trunk or Tailgate Button/Pull
  • Key Fob
  • Front Hood Area/Lever

To Use or Not to Use

When cleaning and disinfecting vehicles, it’s important to use suitable commercial and/or consumer product types. CLICK HERE for a matrix of suitable cleaning and disinfecting solutions. Important: Carefully follow the manufacturer’s product label instructions for cleaning and disinfecting, as these vary by product.

DO NOT use disinfecting products that contain any of the following chemicals:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Sodium Chlorite
  • Sodium Hypochlorite (chlorine bleach)
  • Glycol Acid
  • Octanoic Acid
  • Hypochlorous Acid

Reduce Risk of Cross-Contamination

To reduce the risk of cross-contamination when disinfecting a vehicle, do not use the same microfiber cloth or wipe on the entire vehicle. Instead:

  1. Use one microfiber cloth/wipe per vehicle occupant side (e.g., driver’s side front = one cloth).
  2. If wiping excess disinfecting solution is required, do not rinse and reuse: Use a clean microfiber cloth/wipe.
  3. Dirty microfiber cloths must be washed with appropriate disinfecting laundry cleaner and dried before reusing.

Be Safe, Be Thorough and Stay Current

Toyota remains optimistic that our world will soon thrive again. We are committed to supporting you during these challenging times. We will continue to provide updates, which you can access in the “What’s New” section of TIS.

Vehicle SanitizationRelevant Terms

Cleaning: Refers to the removal of dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill germs, but removing the germs reduces the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfection: Works by using EPA-registered disinfectant chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process doesn’t necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. But killing germs remaining on a surface after cleaning further reduces any risk of spreading infection.

(Source: CDC as of 4/23/20):

Disclaimer & Footnotes

This training is just one resource available to Dealers and their associates. Collision Repair Centers are free to use or not use this resource. Of course, our dealers are responsible for all employment decisions relating to their employees including all recruiting, hiring, retention, development, discipline and termination decisions.

  1. They also do not address all the legal or compliance issues, such as occupational health and safety or other requirements that may apply to the issues discussed. Consult an attorney familiar with the federal, state and/or local laws at issue to obtain specific advice with respect to specific legal matters. Also, many state and local governments have instituted emergency COVID-19 related measures that impose requirements or restrictions on automotive collision repair facility operations.

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