A cyber attack has forced Toyota to close its factories in Japan, causing the automaker to lose about 13,000 cars in production, Reuters reports. The attack targeted a major supplier of plastic and electronic components to the company.
There was no direct information on who was behind the cyber attack, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters his government would investigate whether Russia was involved. “It’s hard to say if this has anything to do with Russia before we do thorough checks,” he said, according to Reuters.
Japan is backing the US and other Western allies who want to impose severe financial sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Japan supports blocking some Russian banks from accessing the international payment system SWIFT, and has said it would send $100 million in aid to Ukraine.
Toyota said the attack that hit supplier Kojima Industries has forced the automaker to suspend 28 assembly lines at 14 plants, affecting both first and second shift workers. “We apologize to our relevant suppliers and customers for any inconvenience caused,” the company said in a statement.
“We will also continue to work with our suppliers to strengthen the supply chain and make every effort to deliver vehicles to our customers as quickly as possible,” the company added.
The automotive industry is in the midst of a number of crises affecting supply, including a global shortage of semiconductor chips. The results include record high prices for customers, as well as supply chain disruptions. Automakers have been forced to shut down factories and cancel shifts in response. Likewise, the shift to electric vehicles has increased the demand for chips and other computer components, especially the high-end variants that can only be produced by the most advanced semiconductor foundries.
Last month, Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, said it expects to miss its annual production target of 9 million vehicles as the chip shortage impacted its ability to ramp up production.