AutosSubaru suspends operations at three factories following fatal accident in Japan

Subaru suspends operations at three factories following fatal accident in Japan

Work at the Yajima factory owned by Subaru stopped after a tragedy occurred there.
Work at the Yajima factory owned by Subaru stopped after a tragedy occurred there.
Images source: © Getty Images | Bloomberg
10:11 AM EST, February 19, 2024

Modern car factories largely depend on automated procedures. While it's never wholly safe working in the industry, corporations strive to reduce possible dangers for their production line staff as much as possible.

Regrettably, safety measures, health and safety regulations, and internal company rules cannot always prevent every possible accident. This fact was painfully illustrated by an incident on the morning of February 13th at the Subaru factory in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, Japan.

Media reports about the incident from local and international sources, such as "Automotive News Europe" and "Automobilwoche," did not emerge until February 19, 6 days after the accident was reported in the media.

A 60-year-old Yajima factory worker was operating a remotely controlled crane, which was tasked with lifting and moving 55,115 lbs of moulds. Tragically, one of these moulds collapsed onto the operator, who stood no chance of escaping unharmed. An autopsy revealed the man had died from suffocation.

Tragedy at the Subaru factory results in many paused productions

The victim was a highly experienced plant employee with 35 years of tenure and was not a novice at operating this crane. It is, however, still not clear what caused this tragic accident. Currently, the Ota police are conducting an investigation. A spokesperson for Subaru has declined to comment on the occurrence.

The Japanese manufacturer decided to halt operations at three factories back home. Consequently, the production of nearly all the brand’s models stopped: Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, WRX, BRZ, and many others. The engine and transmission factory in Oizumi also temporarily ceased operations. It's unclear when Subaru will resume their everyday operations.

Related content