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2012 Camry: Eyesore under the hood

oparroparr Posts: 74
Recently looked at some 2012 Camrys at a local Toyota dealer and was somewhat shocked to see that none of the power plants had exhaust manifold covers. While the average Joe/Jane probably wouldn't notice anything amiss, this was the first thing I noticed after popping the hood.

The salesman claimed that they rattled over time so Toyota had stopped using them. A head mechanic said that they did have covers originally but the upstream O2 sensors had to be replaced with longer ones and so the covers could no longer fit.

What's the real skinny on this? Is this a general "trend du jour" or is Toyota just cutting corners once more? Here is a picture of what I'm talking about (2012 Camry power plant);

http://www.pbase.com/eldata/image/141424437/original

Here is a picture of a 1996 Camry power plant;

http://www.pbase.com/eldata/image/141424442/original

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