Cyberattack on key supplier suspected
Toyota shut down production at its plants in Japan after a suspected cyberattack hit Kojima Industries Corp., which supplies the automaker with parts for many of its models and is headquartered in Toyota city.
“This has never happened before,” Kojima spokesman Tomohiro Takayama said. “We are not sure yet if it is a cyberattack, but we suspect it might be one.”
The attack came soon after Japan imposed sanctions on Russia, prompting suspicion as to the source of an attack. Japan joined Western countries in placing financial restrictions on Russia after the latter’s invasion of Ukraine. Japan also pledged $100 million of emergency aid to Ukraine. Japan and Russia are in a longstanding dispute over possession of the Kuril Islands.
“It is difficult to say whether this has anything to do with Russia before making thorough checks,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.
Shutting its 14 plants across Japan down for a day cost Toyota about 13,000 cars. It was unclear whether the stoppage would continue for longer than one day.
“We apologize to our customers and suppliers for any inconvenience this may cause,” a Toyota spokesperson said in a statement. “We will continue to work with our suppliers to strengthen the supply chain and make every effort to deliver vehicles to our customers as soon as possible.”
Toyota had to shut plants down in North America temporarily while the Canadian trucker convoy blocked bridges linking Ontario and Michigan. The Japan shutdown also included affiliate automakers Hino Motors and Daihatsu Motor.
Kojima supplies Toyota with parts for air conditioning, steering wheels, and other interior and exterior components. The shuttered plants represent approximately one third of the automaker’s worldwide manufacturing capabilities, so a prolonged shutdown would cause major headaches for a company targeting 8.5 million vehicles off the line in 2022.