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Toyota Yaris downtime to continue after Japanese earthquake

Toyota has been working to repair their battered assembly plant in the Miyagi prefecture but due to a lack of natural gas flow to the plant, production of the Toyota Yaris is likely to remain stopped until late April.


Workers were reportedly able to repair all of the damages to the Miyagi production facility and electric has been restored (not counting sporadic shortages) but the plant has still not been able to maintain a steady flow of natural gas. The Miyagi plant receives its natural gas from a facility in Sendai that was badly damaged during the earthquake and with that gas distributor expecting to be down until late April, the Yaris plant is forced to remain shuttered.

Since the earthquake, tsunami and chain of nuclear explosions began on March 11th, Toyota has not returned to normal production. Several start dates have been set but like many other Japanese automakers digging out from the natural disasters, most of Toyota’s 18 Japanese production facilities have remained shuttered. Toyota was able to resume limited production at the plant responsible for building the Toyota Prius, Lexus HS250h and Lexus CT 200h hybrids but even those lines are only running at roughly half capacity due to power supply problems. Unfortunately, the production of these hybrids will be sporadic until conditions become more stable, as the hybrid plant is again shutdown for today with limited production expected to resume (but who knows for how long) tomorrow.

According to Automotive News, other than the hybrid plant and the Miyagi Yaris plant, rumors suggest that the other Toyota production facilities are expected to resume operations between April 11th and April 14th. It should be pointed out that Toyota has not been able to offer a hard date as to when their Japanese facilities will resume production.

This affects not only Japan, but the American market as well with many of Toyota’s vehicles sold in the US are built overseas, including the Prius. Toyota has notified dealers that there could be product shortages over the next month or so along with part shortages impacting 223 items for at least a month. In the shadow of the looming part shortage, Toyota has stopped overtime production at their US-based engine plants and warned other facilities that there could be stoppages as the company deals with the various supply problems. will continue bringing you all of your news out of Japan as the industry braces for the full impact of the earthquake as existing supplies of materials are used up.

Source: Automotive News

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