Bits & Bytes: Toyota Shutdown Caused by Insufficient Disk Space
The cause of a recent blip in production for one of the world’s largest automakers has been traced to problems with computer memory. Yes, you read that correctly.
When most of us get an error alerting about lack of disk space, it generally means we can’t take any more pictures of the car with our phone or are unable to install the latest updates for Snowrunner. For Toyota, the problem was slightly more dire, as the issue shut down production at no fewer than fourteen different facilities – basically all its operations in Japan.
Calling it a “malfunction in our production order system” which happened at the end of last month, regular maintenance work apparently created the snafu. During that procedure, computer data that had accumulated in the company database was being deleted and/or organized when an error is said to have occurred due to insufficient disk space. This caused the system to grind to a halt. A similar failure then supposedly happened in the backup function, preventing a switchover and leading to the suspension of domestic plant operations.
How’d they fix it? By transferring the data to a server with a larger capacity, of course. We imagine frenzied Toyota IT people running out to Staples and buying up all the external hard drives. Good to know multi-zillion dollar companies face some of the same problems as the rest of us.
Toyota’s statement goes on to say “We would like to report that we have identified the above as the true cause,” which cynics would suggest is exactly what someone would say if they haven’t actually identified the true cause at all. The PR machine was also quick to ward off speculation this was the work of bad actors, saying “We would also like to reaffirm that the system malfunction was not caused by a cyberattack.” Very good, then.
In the meantime, your author will be over he backing up the hard drive on his laptop, just in case.
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