(FILES) This picture was taken on October 31, 2022, shows the logo of Toyota Motor being displayed atop the company´s head office in Tokyo.—AFP 

Toyota Motor will restart production at its assembly plants in Japan on Wednesday after a production system malfunction brought domestic output to a halt at the world’s biggest-selling automaker.

The company said it will resume operations at 25 production lines of a dozen plants in its home market from Wednesday morning and add the final two plants in the afternoon.

The glitch prevented Toyota from ordering components, and the company said it is still investigating the cause.

The plants together account for about a third of the automaker’s global production.

Toyota’s domestic production had been on the rebound after a series of output cuts it blamed on semiconductor shortages. Output was up 29% in January-June, the first such increase in two years.

Analysts said Toyota could be tested in making up for output lost during the outage, such as by running extra shifts.

“Output was running at full capacity so there’s little additional room for production,” said Seiji Sugiura, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.

The incident also had a knock-on effect. Group firm Toyota Industries said it has partially suspended operations at two engine plants due to the automaker’s glitch.

Toyota is a pioneer of just-in-time inventory management, which keeps down costs but means supply chain snarls put production at risk.

While the cause of the latest malfunction was unclear, corporate Japan has been on alert in recent days as businesses and government offices reported harassing phone calls.

The government said the calls were likely from China and related to Japan’s release of treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.

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