Toyota Halted Production Of Its Cars After Being Hacked

By Kristi Eckert | 3 months ago


If severe chip shortages plaguing the automotive industry weren’t enough of a reason for Toyota to stress, the car giant now has another major problem on its list of major woes. Ars Technica reported that Toyota was forced to halt a large amount of its vehicle production after one of its suppliers, Kojima Industries, became victim to hacking activities. As of March 1, 2022, Toyota will officially pause production at 14 of its factories in Japan. 

The impending shut down was because the hack caused Kojima Industries to endure what a spokesperson for Toyota referred to as a “complete system failure.” The failure affected many core components that Toyota relies on Kojima Industries to supply them including critical electric parts as well as certain plastics for vehicle interiors. Reuters detailed that the hack and the resulting halt in production will likely cause Toyota to lose 13,000 cars they could have potentially brought to the market, which equates to about a third of its overall global production. 

At this point, it remains unclear as to who pioneered the cyber attack on Toyota’s supplier as well as the motivation behind it. Some have speculated that it could be tied to Japan’s decision to aid other countries in blocking Russia from accessing the SWIFT international banking system as well as the country’s decision to provide a sizable amount of aid to Ukraine. However, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida relayed to the press that at this point it would be hard to say whether the two separate events somehow correlate. 

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Despite the hazy reasoning behind what prompted the hack on Toyota as well as who was behind it, Toyota’s production is definitively suffering because of it. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Toyota has been subject to significant hacking activity. Between 2019 and 2021 Toyota is known to have been hacked at least four times. One of the cyber attacks put over 3 million Toyota Australia customers’ data in a position of vulnerability. That particular incident cost the car titan a hefty $37 million. 

A more recent attack in 2021, similar to the one that just occurred, affected another one of Toyota’s suppliers. This attack was confirmed to have been executed by a Russian cybergang. The Russian cybergang infiltrated Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi which is one of Toyota Auto Body’s United States affiliates. Thankfully, that attack did not affect Toyota’s production in any way, however, Nikkei Asia pointed out that sensitive company information was exposed.

Toyota’s troubles do not cease with compromising cyber attacks. The company has also been subject to much industry scrutiny for its lackluster efforts to enter into the electric car market. However, the company did announce in recent months its plans to significantly ramp up its electric car offerings. Toyota has made promises to introduce 30 new electric vehicles by 2030 which is a large improvement over the 15 that they had first promised by 2025. Toyota further solidified its future commitment to the electric car industry by bolstering its lithium-ion battery investments used to power electric vehicles by $4.4 billion.