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Toyota to halt operations at all Japan plants due to cyber attack

TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese automaker Toyota said Monday (Feb 28) it was halting operations at all its domestic plants for a day after a reported cyberattack on a parts supplier.

"Due to a system failure at a supplier in Japan, we have decided to suspend the operation of 28 lines at all 14 domestic plants on March 1 (for both 1st and 2nd shift)," the world's top-selling automaker said in a statement.

The Nikkei newspaper reported that the decision came after a suspected cyberattack hit a parts manufacturer supplying Toyota, but a spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

The Nikkei said the suspected attack hit major Toyota supplier Kojima Industries, which manufactures plastic parts.

It cited a source close to the firm as confirming a cyberattack and saying an assessment of the damage done was being undertaken.

The Toyota spokeswoman told AFP that the stoppage, which for now will last a day, with the situation to be assessed again Tuesday, would affect production of 13,000 vehicles.

Toyota has already been forced to adjust production goals because of pandemic-related supply chain issues and the global chip crisis.

But the auto giant was able to retain its crown as the world's top-selling carmaker in 2021 and earlier this month posted a forecast-beating quarterly net profit despite the tough production environment.

It did however slightly lower its production projection for the year to 8.5 million units from nine million, having already slashed the goal from an earlier 9.3 million in November.

When Covid-19 first triggered a global drought of semiconductors - an essential component of modern cars - Toyota appeared better placed than its rivals to weather the crunch, having strengthened ties with its domestic suppliers after Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

But with the crisis showing no signs of ending, the automaker has found itself unable to escape the effects.

"Currently, customers have to wait for a very long time to receive our products," Toyota acknowledged earlier in February.

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