Toyota’s Japanese plants went offline because of the silliest reason

Toyota factoryYoshikazu Tsuno/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

Toyota’s car manufacturing plants were all taken offline for a day last week and the company has now revealed why.

On August 29, Toyota’s 14 car manufacturing plants in Japan were simultaneously taken offline. It’s now been revealed the cause was due to the server where parts are ordered being taken offline. However, the reason it was taken offline is impossibly silly.

The server that handles the part orders was taken offline due to Toyota running out of hard drive storage. Everything was back up online after Toyota upgraded the servers to include more storage.

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However, in a world of constant cyber attacks on different industries, the car company had to get in front of the news quickly to confirm it wasn’t an attack. Instead, it simply came down to a regular PC issue.

In a statement, Toyota said: “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.”

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The issue caused Toyota’s Japanese plants to shut down for around a day, and another two plants took additional time to get back up and running. Previously, Toyota had similar issues when it had to pull its plants offline due to a potential virus in the system.

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Toyota plants going offline highlights Japanese infrastructure

Japan’s infrastructure is called into question quite often. It still relies on things like fax machines for important document signing. Due to the nature of how it manages these documents and with official documents requiring a stamp – or Hanko – many businesses still use fax machines.

It’s not the only outdated tech that the country still relies on. A report from last year from CBS highlights how parts of the country still use floppy disks.

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In 2018, one part of Japan actually still had a functioning VHS rental store. Checking online, it still appears to be active and running in 2023.

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