Toyota Japan Shuttered Production for a Day to Deal With System Failure

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Toyota’s manufacturing processes are the stuff of legend, as the automaker’s focus on quality and efficiency is unmatched in the industry. It relies on a production philosophy known as just in time, which means its raw materials flow into factories “just in time” to be used for production. The methodology reduces costs and waste, but it leaves the automaker susceptible to disruptions if one or more parts of its supply chain or operations have issues.

That was the case with Toyota’s Japanese production lines, causing it to shutter operations for a little more than a day to resolve a systems malfunction. The problem impacted all 14 of the automaker’s Japanese plants, but operations are expected to return to normal today. Toyota reported a significant 29 percent increase in June, its largest in the last two years, making even short stoppages impactful.

The automaker is investigating the cause of the problem but said it does not believe hackers or a cyberattack are to blame. Toyota paused operations for a day last year after a cyberattack limited its ability to order parts for production, but it was able to resume production using a backup system in that case. 

Though short, the day-long shutdown will have an impact on Toyota’s production numbers. On average, the automaker builds 13,500 vehicles in Japan daily and was running at capacity before the shutdown, so it will be difficult to add volume to make up for the downtime.

[Image: Jasen Wright via Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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6 of 22 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Aug 31, 2023

    Parts Silo connected to Production Silo. Who knew.

    Everyone back to your cubicles! Your Silo is calling.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Aug 31, 2023

    Yay Coders.

    (Note how many Top Automotive Executives have a Coding background)

  • IH_Fever IH_Fever on Aug 31, 2023

    It's fine, adding on a few dealer adjustments will make up the lost profit.

  • Art_Vandelay Art_Vandelay on Aug 31, 2023

    sounds like someone tested in production. Something to keep in mind when you cut the budget for your IT department’s lab environment which always is the first thing cut. Someone probably pushed a Windows update or something that wasn’t able to be thoroughly tested. A key logistics system that could shut you down if it fails is something that should be thoroughly modeled in simulation. Usually a tough sell though until something like this happens. And this is Toyota. Imagine the corners cut at companies where you are having to absorb 50 percent higher labor costs.

    • See 1 previous
    • 3SpeedAutomatic 3SpeedAutomatic on Sep 07, 2023

      Wouldn't this be a hoot if the underlying platform ran on a mainframe which no programmers was left who understood how to make modifications.

      If in doubt, look what happen to air traffic control in the US in January or just this month in the UK. No one knows how to modify a data edit and reasonableness script run on top of a mainframe because they all retired.

      Poughkeepsie, NY is on the phone…📞📞📞