Editor's note: An earlier version of this story gave the incorrect name of the GM vehicle that gets Hitachi's lithium ion batteries. The batteries are for the Buick LaCrosse and Regal.
LOS ANGELES -- Three Hitachi Automotive factories, including a plant that makes lithium-ion batteries for General Motors Co., have resumed output after being damaged in Japan's March 11 earthquake.
The three factories are:
•Hitachi Vehicle Energy Ltd. in Ibaraki Prefecture, the supplier of lithiom-ion batteries for General Motors Co. Hitachi makes the batteries for the 2012 Buick LaCrosse and Regal, said GM spokesman Kevin Kelly. The batteries will run the eAssist mild hybrid technology.
The eAssist system uses stop-start technology and an electric motor boost to help the car accelerate. GM says the system will provide 25 percent better fuel economy than the 2011 models.
•Hitachi Automotive Systems' Sawa Works in Ibaraki Prefecture, which makes engine control and fuel system components, as well as motors and inverters for hybrid vehicles.
•Hitachi Automotive Systems' Fukushima Works in Fukushima Prefecture, previously known as Tokico, which makes suspension components.
"The assembly lines have started, but it's not to 100 percent," said Hitachi America spokesman Mickey Takeuchi. "They have electricity and water and gas."
Atsushi Konno, a spokesman for Hitachi in Tokyo, said the plants are running at 70 percent capacity this week as quality assurance checks are conducted.
The plants should be at full capacity next week, Konno said. He declined to give any information regarding Hitachi's customers but did say the Fukushima plant mostly provides for the Japanese auto industry, while Sawa supplies automakers around the world.