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Have you tried turning it off and then on? Toyota's RAV4, LandCruiser and Kluger production shutdown explained

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The production of the LandCruiser, RAV4, Corolla and other models were affected by a “insufficient disk space”.
The production of the LandCruiser, RAV4, Corolla and other models were affected by a “insufficient disk space”.

The “glitch” that shut down Toyota’s Japanese production facilities last week has been found, and it is a more common problem than you might think.

The reason for the shutdown? “Insufficient disk space”, according to a new Toyota statement.

But how did this end up costing Toyota an estimated $A558 million and force the cessation of production of not only Toyota models, but also Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino?

It all comes down to Toyota’s ‘Just-In-Time’ production system, which allocates parts to a vehicle as it rolls down the production line to save the brand storing vast quantities of components and increase efficiency.

While the system usually works as expected to pump out huge volumes of RAV4s, Corollas and LandCruisers, the problem occurred during regular maintenance work carried out on August 27 – the day before the incident.

According to Toyota, “during the maintenance procedure, data that had accumulated in the database was deleted and organised, and an error occurred due to insufficient disk space, causing the system to stop”.

Furthermore, the backup servers failed to remedy the problem because they run on the same system and “a switchover could not be made”.

In total, 14 plants were shut down for about two days, which make a combined 13,500 vehicles per day – or about a third of Toyota’s global output.

“The system was restored after the data was transferred to a server with a larger capacity on August 29, and the plants resumed operation on the following day,” according to Toyota.

“Countermeasures have also been put in place by replicating and verifying the situation.”

These facilities produce the RAV4, Corolla Cross, Corolla, Yaris Cross, Yaris, Kluger, LandCruiser and Prado for Australia, and it remains unclear the effect it will have on customer’s waiting for their new cars.

Luckily, the top-selling HiLux is produced in Thailand and was not affected by the shutdown.

Toyota again apologised for the shutdown and reiterated the problem was not due to a cyberattack.

“Going forward, we will review our maintenance procedures and strengthen our efforts to prevent a recurrence, so that we can deliver as many vehicles to our customers as soon as possible,” Toyota said.

Tung Nguyen
News Editor
Having studied journalism at Monash University, Tung started his motoring journalism career more than a decade ago at established publications like Carsales and Wheels magazine. Since then, he has risen through the ranks at GoAuto to Managing Editor before joining the CarsGuide team in 2019 as the newly-appointed News Editor. Since starting at CarsGuide, Tung has spearheaded the push for well-researched and unique stories that will shines a light on the automotive industry for new-car-buying intenders, who might struggle to keep up to date with the fast-paced environment of motoring. The last few years alone have seen an explosion of interest in electric cars, as well as a push for autonomous driving, and as News Editor, it is Tung’s job to stay abreast of all the latest and deliver stories worthy of CarsGuide growing audience.
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