Toyota to halt Japan production for a week after blast at supplier

Toyota assembly Japan

Toyota, the world's top-selling automaker, will stop producing vehicles at all assembly lines across Japan for an entire week because of a parts shortage.

The Japanese company said Monday the shortfall was caused by an explosion about three weeks ago at a plant operated one of its suppliers, Aichi Steel.

The shutdown will run from February 8 to February 13, Toyota (TM) said in a statement.

The giant automaker produced nearly 3.2 million vehicles in Japan last year, an average of more than 60,000 a week.

"Toyota will continue to take any measures necessary to minimize the impact of this incident on vehicle production," the company said, suggesting it could get steel from other suppliers.

Related: Toyota fends off VW in global sales race

Vehicle production outside Japan won't be suspended, it added.

The planned halt didn't appear to have alarmed investors. Toyota shares were up around 1.9% in afternoon trade Monday in Tokyo, broadly in line with the wider market.

Toyota maintained its grip on the title of world's top-selling automaker last year, eclipsing its scandal-plagued German rival, Volkswagen (VLKAF).

Aichi Steel, which has deep ties with Toyota, has said it believes the explosion at its Chita plant on January 8 may have been caused by a gas leak.

It says it hopes to restart activity at the damaged part of the plant by the end of March.

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