"In the two months up to his death, he averaged more than 80 hours of overtime per month, the criteria for overwork," an officer at the Aichi labor agency in Japan told reporters from the Associated Press. Although he died of ischemic heart disease, lawyers representing his family claim it was brought about by the severe pressure placed on him to get the car ready for the show.
In a statement, Toyota offered its condolences and said it would work to improve monitoring of the health of its workers.
Working overtime is so common for the Japanese that they even have a term for it, ‘karoshi,’ and this isn’t the first time a Toyota employee has died from too much work. In 2002, a 30-year-old employee died after working up to 70 hours per week.