The earthquakes since April 14 in Japan's Kumamoto Prefecture on the island of Kyushu are having aftershocks on the US auto industry, particularly for Toyota. The company shut down most of its factories in the country due to parts shortages, and the plants will be closed at least through April 23. "Decisions regarding recommencement of operation at plants in Japan will be made on the basis of availability of parts," the company said in a statement.

According to Automotive News, Toyota's closed factories include a vast range of popular models in the US, including the Toyota Prius, Mirai, RAV4, 4Runner, Land Cruiser, Lexus ES, LS, IS, GS, RC, NX, RX, GX, and LX. The company's only sites in Japan that are still open build Hino trucks, Daihatsu models, and the Toyota Century limo.

Toyota isn't yet sure whether these shutdowns could lead to vehicle shortages in the US. "As you can imagine, we are still reviewing the situation and working to learn more," company spokesperson Aaron Fowles told Autoblog. "While we know that production will be suspended in stages at most of our vehicle assembly facilities in Japan between April 18th and the 23rd, we do not know if they will continue production suspensions. Also, any effects to our inventory and/or sales have yet to be determined." He expects the automaker to know more in the coming days.

Many of the affected Toyota plants aren't even in Kumamoto Prefecture, but major suppliers have factories in the region. For example, Aisin Seiki and Renesas Electronics both had to shutdown operations at plants in the area, according to Automotive News.

Toyota isn't the only automaker affected. Nissan experienced a brief slowdown but was back to work on Monday, and Honda has suspended a motorcycle plant in the region until Friday. Mitsubishi had to close a production line due to the parts shortage, according to The Japan Times, but it didn't affect US models. "A supplier to our Mizushima plant has been impacted but they only supply an engine part for our mini car line. That line has been temporarily shut down due to that situation," spokesperson Alex Fedorak told Autoblog. "That same plant builds the Lancer and i-MiEv and there has been no impact to that line and production continues uninterrupted."

Two major quakes hit Kumamoto Prefecture around Kumamoto city in the past week. The first on April 14 measured 6.4 magnitude, and a second on April 16 measured 7.3. As of April 18, Reuters reported there have been at least 42 fatalities and 9 people still missing. The tremors also displaced at least 110,000 people from their homes.

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Statement Regarding Vehicle Production in Japan Following Earthquakes in Kyushu

Toyota City, Japan, April 17, 2016―Due to parts shortages resulting from the severe earthquakes that struck Japan's island of Kyushu on April 14 and after, Toyota will suspend production on its vehicle assembly lines in stages between April 18 and 23.

Decisions regarding recommencement of operation at plants in Japan will be made on the basis of availability of parts.

We will continue to make all possible efforts to offer support to the residents of Kyushu, and hope for the soonest possible recovery of the affected areas.
Tentative Schedule for Suspension of Operations on Vehicle Assembly Lines
Suspension of operation Operated
by Toyota Motor Corporation
Operated
Toyota Group companies
April 18 (first shift)―April 23
  • Toyota Motor Kyushu, Inc.
  • Miyata Plant (lines 1 and 2)
April 19 (first shift)―April 23 Takaoka Plant (lines 1 and 2), Tsutsumi Plant (lines 1 and 2), Tahara Plant (line 1), Motomachi Plant (LFA Works)
  • Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd.
  • Inabe Plant (lines 1 and 2), Fujimatsu Plant (line 1), and Yoshiwara Plant (lines 1 and 2)
  • Toyota Motor East Japan, Inc.
  • Higashi Fuji Plant
Toyota Industries Corporation (301, 302)
April 19 (second shift)―April 23
  • Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd.
  • Fujimatsu Plant (line 2)
Gifu Auto Body Co., Ltd.
  • Hino Motors, Ltd.
  • Hamura Plant (line 1)
April 20 (first shift)―April 23 Motomachi Plant (line 1), Tahara Plant (line 3)
  • Hino Motors, Ltd.
  • Hamura Plant (line 2)
  • Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.
  • Kyoto Plant
April 22 (first shift)―April 23
  • Toyota Motor East Japan, Inc.
  • Iwate Plant (lines 1 and 2), Miyagi Ohira Plant

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