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Subaru Suspends Production in Japan after Worker Death

Death Of A Worker In A Subaru Factory | Photo: Subaru
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Daniel Rufiange
Making cars is not without risk, as this worker's death sadly reminds us
  • Subaru temporarily suspends production in Japan after worker death

The news when it comes to the automotive industry is usually happy and light, but sometimes sad events occur. Such is the case of this worker who died at a Subaru factory in Japan, more specifically the one in Yajima, Gunma Prefecture.

By sharing his story with you, we'd like to pay tribute to all the workers in the automotive industry who perform tasks that are not always risk-free in order to deliver the vehicles we love. 

The incident occurred on the evening of February 13, according to Automotive News. A 25-ton mould fell on the worker, who didn't stand a chance. 

Subaru immediately temporarily suspended production at three of its Japanese plants, including those that make the Forester and Crosstrek SUVs for export, as well as the BRZ coupe. 

A police spokesman in Ota, the city where the Yajima plant is located, confirmed details of the death. Authorities identified the worker as a 60-year-old man with 35 years of service at Subaru.

The man was operating a crane alone, using a remote control to lift and move 25-ton moulds, the local Jomo Shimbun newspaper reported. One of the moulds collapsed, pinning him against another. An autopsy determined that the cause of death was asphyxiation.

The Yajima plant makes the Impreza compact car and the Outback, Crosstrek and Forester SUVs. The main neighbouring plant builds the BRZ, Impreza and Crosstrek, as well as the sporty WRX and the Levorg wagon, which is sold in Japan.

It's an incident that reminds us that while safety at assembly plants has improved greatly over the years, there's still work to be done. A loophole will surely be found to explain the accident and this will probably lead to improvements. 

At least we hope so. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.


Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists