The 12-day exhaust component strike that halted Australian car assembly lines ended today when 400 workers at Adelaide-based manufacturer Walker Australia returned to work after a recommendation from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, Associated Press (AP) said.

The company supplies exhaust components to the General Motors Holden, Ford, Mitsubishi and Toyota.

All but Mitsubishi were forced to halt production earlier this week because of lack of parts for new vehicles, AP said.

A Walker spokesman told AP that the car makers should be able to resume assembly by tomorrow.

Analysts estimate the pay dispute cost the car builders about $A130 million ($US70 million) in lost production, AP said.

AP added that AMWU national secretary Doug Cameron said the union and Walker had worked out a deal to ensure workers receive entitlements including annual leave payments and long service leave.