By on July 12, 2010

So far, it had been striking workers at Chinese parts suppliers that brought Japanese car makers to their knees, praying for parts needed to re-start the lines. Here is a new  twist: Japan’s Hitachi ran out of chips for ECUs (commonly called “car computers”). And Japanese carmakers are shutting down the lines.

Nissan announced today they will suspend production lat four of their plants in Japan for at least two days (July 14 through July 16) while they wait for ECUs made by Hitachi. At least 15,000 cars are affected.

Hitachi in turn is waiting for their supplier. “The supply of a specific IC chip suddenly declined this month, and the supplier has yet to tell us why exactly this is happening,” said Hitachi executive managing director Yasuhiko Honda. He wouldn’t name the IC chip supplier.

Hitachi says the chip shortage affects Nissan “and two other Japanese automakers.”

The Nikkei [sub] immediately went on the hunt for the “two others.”

Subaru uses Hitachi ECUs but “has yet to confirm whether it is affected by the delay.”

The Nikkei is still on the prowl for the third victim of the chip constraint.

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