If you’ve been in the market for a used car or truck within the past few months, you may have noticed a strange trend: some used vehicles are being sold at prices higher than their original sticker price! An article published by AP News notes that a 2019 Toyota Tacoma SR truck had a window sticker price of just under $29,000 when it was being sold new, two years ago. Now, dealers must pay almost $1,000 more for this vehicle in its used state – and the list price for consumers is more than $33,000.
This bizarre situation has arisen due to the pandemic and a global shortage of computer chips. In April and May of 2020, U.S. automakers closed factories for eight weeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Production was cut and inventory became limited, even though the demand for new cars was still there.
Producers of automotive computer chips switched to manufacturing semiconductors for consumer electronics, like phones and laptops. However, automobile factories reopened more quickly than expected, and then faced a shortage of automotive chips. Without these essential chips, car companies had to temporarily close their factories once again, furthering the limited availability of new cars.
With so few new vehicles available, consumers have been purchasing used cars instead. And with used cars in such high demand, prices have risen – at times even exceeding the price of the vehicle when it was new, as seen with the Toyota Tacoma.
When will prices stabilize? The weekly increase in used car prices has been lessening, so prices may level out soon. Experts predict, however, that prices may not go back to their pre-pandemic levels for a while.
Standards Support Vehicle Safety at Any Cost
Whether you’re out and about in a brand new vehicle, a new-to-you recent purchase, or your usual set of wheels, standards help keep you safe on the road.
SAE International, a member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), has published many standards that guide the safety of vehicles. They include guidelines that address both safety features (like SAE J 1885-2010, Deployment of Electrically Activated Automotive Air Bags for Automotive Reclamation) and features for the comfort of the passengers (like SAE J 3047-2016, Recommendation for Acceptable Operating Parameters of Heated Automobile Seats In Order to Mitigate Occupant Injury).
The Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC), another ANSI member and accredited standards developer, developed ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS 004-2018, Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard, to address procedures, education, and product performance for motor vehicles related to windshield mounting.
Behind factory walls, standards guide quality manufacturing to support safety in ways that may not be visible to the driver and passengers. AWS D8.10M:2021, Specification for Automotive Weld Quality – Laser Beam Welding of Steel, offers visual and measurable acceptance criteria for laser beam welds in steels that can be used as an aid by many involved in the automotive industry. This standard was developed by the American Welding Society (AWS), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.
Check out more automotive standards on ANSI’s webstore.