Toyota makes the Corolla (photo) and Vios in Tianjin

Toyota makes the Corolla (photo) and Vios in Tianjin

Toyota Motor has said its operations near the Chinese port of Tianjin will remain shut at least to the end of Wedneday (26 August) due to safety concerns as fires continue to break out at the site of last week's deadly chemical explosions.

"We will only restart operations when we have been able to confirm the safety of our facilities and their surroundings, and when our employees feel that they can once again go to work in a safe environment," the company told Reuters.

Toyota also said about 4,700 Toyota and Lexus vehicles were damaged by the Tianjin disaster. It would not sell these cars, which have dents and broken windows.

The move to prolong the closure comes as continuing safety hazards cast doubts on when operations can resume in the area.

The report noted Toyota's Tianjin operations were originally set to be closed until last Thursday but that was then extended until Sunday. The automaker operates two assembly lines near the Tianjin port and another line in a different part of the city.

Toyota also said joint venture Sichuan FAS Toyota Motor began operating its Changchun plant on Saturday as planned to make up for lost output. The plant in northeast China was closed until then because damage at the port had delayed custom clearance of parts shipped from Japan.