Toyota today halted production on all of its Japanese plants after one of its major suppliers was hit by a cyberattack.
So far, no other information is available regarding the cyberattack, nor is the motive behind such an act. According to a report by Nikkei, Toyota is shutting down 28 production lines at 14 plants, and this includes some of the Japanese plants of its subsidiaries Hino Motors and Daihatsu Motor. This has resulted in around 13,000 units that will see production delays.
“We apologize to our relevant suppliers and customers for any inconvenience this may cause,” Toyota said.
The affected supplier is Kojima Industries, which supplies plastic parts to Toyota. The cyberattack included a message demanding ransom, and along with it the confirmation that a virus exists within the company’s computer systems.
An official close to Kojima Industries also told Nikkei: “It is true that we have been hit by some kind of cyberattack. We are still confirming the damage and we are hurrying to respond, with the top priority of resuming Toyota’s production system as soon as possible.”
Toyota is an automaker that pioneered just-in-time (JIT) production as a way to reduce overhead costs, but this makes them susceptible to sudden production disruptions, including this recent cyberattack from one of its suppliers. 400 of its tier 1 suppliers are part of this production method. The shutdown of the production line will involve testing, recovery, and inspection of the systems before resuming on Wednesday to ensure that the quality of the cars will still be maintained.
This news comes amid still the ongoing shortage of semiconductors and other car parts, and this has led to waiting times for the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 and Lexus LX 600 to stretch to as much as four years.