Subaru has reportedly halted production at all three of its Japanese factories, after a long-time employee was crushed to death at its Yajima factory.

    Automotive News reports the 60-year-old man – who had worked for Subaru for 35 years – was operating a crane via remote control to move 25-tonne molds in the factory on February 13.

    One of the molds reportedly collapsed, trapping the worker and causing death via asphyxiation.

    Following the incident, Subaru paused production at the Yajima factory where the death occurred, temporarily halting production of Australian-bound models such as the Forester, Crosstrek, Outback, and Impreza.

    While the incident was isolated to one factory, Subaru also reportedly paused production at its main plant in Gunma – which builds the BRZ, WRX (sedan and Sportswagon), Crosstrek, and Impreza – as well as an engine and transmission facility in Oizumi.

    It’s not yet known whether the production pause has since been lifted or if it’s ongoing.

    “Subaru Australia’s deepest sympathies are with the family of the deceased,” a Subaru Australia spokesperson told CarExpert.

    “We are working closely with Subaru Corporation and have no further comment at this time.”

    In 2023, 608,327 vehicles were built by Subaru across its Japanese production facilities, down from its record of 727,741 in 2016 – though a recovery from its most recent low point of 475,141 in 2021, largely caused by the global pandemic.

    Subaru sold 46,114 cars in Australia last year, a recovery from the 36,036 sales the year prior, but more than 6000 sales away from its peak of 52,511 sales, achieved in 2017.

    MORE: Everything Subaru

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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