Toyota factory stall caused by lack of disk space

Toyota has found the culprit behind the stopping of all its factories in Japan — insufficient disk space that caused both its primary and backup systems to malfunction.

One of the world’s largest car producers, Toyota had to suspend production on all 14 domestic assembly plants on August 28th.

The system malfunctioned when multiple servers that process part orders became unavailable, it said. The malfunction occurred after regular maintenance work the day before.

“During the maintenance procedure, data that had accumulated in the database was deleted and organized, and an error occurred due to insufficient disk space, causing the system to stop,” Toyota said in its announcement.

Switchover to the backup functions could not be made, as servers ran on the same system.

Toyota says the system has been restored, with plants resuming work on August 29th once the data was transferred to a server with a larger capacity.

“We would like to report that we have identified the above as the true cause. Countermeasures have also been put in place by replicating and verifying the situation,” Toyota explained, stressing that no cybersecurity attacks happened.

The carmaker will also review its maintenance procedures and strengthen efforts to prevent a recurrence of similar issues.

“We would like to apologize once again to our customers, suppliers, and related parties for any inconvenience caused by the suspension of our domestic plants,” Toyota added.

Toyota’s “just-in-time” inventory management system is based on supplying parts and materials only as and when needed, eliminating the need to keep large warehouses. While this minimizes costs, it also leaves supply chains vulnerable to unexpected disturbances.

Toyota had a similar issue last year when a cyberattack on its electronic components supplier left the company unable to order parts.

​In Japan, Reuters calculations showed that Toyota’s output averaged about 13,500 vehicles daily in the first half of the year.