Toyota was forced to shut down 28 assembly lines at all of its 14 Japanese manufacturing plants in the final days of August due to a rather embarassing problem in its computer network.
Initially, Toyota spokesperson Sawako Takeda said that the company had no reason to believe it was the result of a cyberattack (via AP News), but the automaker has since confirmed that the “unavailability of some multiple servers” caused the issue.
Fortunately for the motor group, which sold more than 10 million vehicles in 2022 across its brands including Lexus, production resumed just one day after the pause.
Toyota IT mishap
The company has since added: “During the maintenance procedure [prior to the halt], data that had accumulated in the database was deleted and organized, and an error occurred due to insufficient disk space, causing the system to stop. Since these servers were running on the same system, a similar failure occurred in the backup function, and a switchover could not be made.”
Shortly after the plug was pulled on production, Reuters calculated that the firm’s Japanese plants account for around one-third of its global production. Assuming that is the case, and that production stopped for precisely one day (The Register reckons it was more like 36 hours), some simple equations suggest that more than 9,000 vehicles will have been directly affected.
The company ended with an apology to customers: “Going forward, we will review our maintenance procedures and strengthen our efforts to prevent a recurrence, so that we can deliver as many vehicles to our customers as soon as possible.”
It’s unclear which models are built in the factories and thus were affected by the IT error, but it’s likely that various popular models including the Corolla, some Lexus models, and the firm’s new electric bZ4X may have been temporarily stopped.
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