In August, Toyota was forced to shut down over a dozen auto plants in Japan due to unspecified computer problems. Some theorized it was a cyberattack of some kind, but Toyota denied this and has now revealed what actually happened: Its computers ran out of disk space and everything broke.
I think many of us can agree that running out of hard drive space sucks. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to dig through my PS4 or Xbox 360 to delete old games so I can install new ones. And it’s only getting worse as games get bigger and bigger. But at least when my computer or console ran out of space it didn’t shut down large car factories in Japan. (At least, not that I’m aware of…)
In a press release from last week, Toyota announced the temporary stoppage that happened across 28 assembly lines at 14 auto plants on August 28 was the result of an “error” that happened “due to insufficient disk space.” This caused multiple servers that process orders for car parts to stop working properly, leading to the shutdowns. Toyota blames “regular maintenance work” that happened on August 27, saying in a press release that the error occurred during the procedure (h/t: TweakTown).
“Data that had accumulated in the database was deleted and organized,” said Toyota, “And an error occurred due to insufficient disk space, causing the system to stop. Since these servers were running on the same system, a similar failure occurred in the backup function, and a switchover could not be made. This led to the suspension of domestic plant operations.”
So no hacking happened and also we can’t blame someone at the plant for downloading some new AAA video game during their break and causing the entire system to collapse. Dang. That would have been funnier.