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Toyota suspends production after supplier cyber attack

February 28, 2022

A suspected attack against a key component supplier for the Japanese automaker means the company is halting all domestic production for a least a day. Officials are investigating who could be behind the incident.

The Toyota factory in Nagoya, Japan
The Toyota factory in Nagoya, JapanImage: Yoshio Tsunoda/AFLO/imago

Japanese auto giant Toyota has said that it will suspend domestic production on Tuesday after a supplier of plastic parts and electronic components was hit by a suspected cyber attack.

Toyota said it will lose around 13,000 cars by stopping production for an entire day.

Although further details of the attack were not given, a Toyota spokesman described it as "supplier system failure."

The incident came a day after Japan joined Western allies in supporting Russian banks removal from the SWIFT international payment system and $100 million in emergency aid to Ukraine amidst Russia's invasion of the country.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said his government would investigate whether Russia was involved in the cyber attack.

"It is difficult to say whether this has anything to do with Russia before making thorough checks," he told reporters.

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Toyota is a pioneer in the "just-in-time" supply chain style, meaning suppliers bring in components as they are needed, and the company does not stockpile inventory. This promotes efficiency and waste reduction but can make it vulnerable to larger supply chain issues, as has been the case throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The auto manufacturer also recently had to halt North American production when a convoy of protesting truckers in Canada blocked a key road to the United States.

Toyota said it did not know if the halt in production would have to continue for more than one day.

es/msh (AP, Reuters)