Toyota predicts production woes until December

Toyota has issued a statement warning consumers and dealers that its production levels will likely not return to normal until November or December, as the fallout from the Japanese earthquake continues to take its toll.

The automaker says that its factories in Japan are currently operating at 50 percent of their normal output, while American plants are at 30 percent. The primary reason is a lack of parts: many suppliers that the automaker relied upon were heavily damaged in the earthquake. While Toyota's plants were largely spared by the disaster, getting the parts to make the vehicles has proven difficult.

"To all the customers who made the decision to buy a vehicle made by us, I sincerely apologize for the enormous delay in delivery," Akio Toyoda, the company president, said in the statement. "Our entire company is committed to solving the problems before us so that we can achieve production recovery even one day sooner."

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