Toyota Motor Corp's <7203.T> output in North America in the February-April period will likely fall short of its original target by 20 percent, as a result of massive vehicle recalls depressing sales, the Nikkei business daily reported.

On Wednesday, Toyota's president apologized to U.S. lawmakers for the safety crisis that led to the recall of more than 8.5 million vehicles around the world.

The automaker faces a criminal investigation and a securities probe in the United States as well as unresolved questions about hundreds of incidents of unintended acceleration reported by consumers.

The leading Japanese automaker has reportedly notified its major parts suppliers that its North American production for the period is expected to reach roughly 350,000 units, the Nikkei said.

Following its decision to recall the Corolla, Camry and six other models due to accelerator pedal-related problems, Toyota halted sales of the eight models from late January to early February, the Nikkei reported.

The automaker also stopped production at five North American plants from February 1 to February 5, and recently decided to suspend operations at its Kentucky and Texas plants for a total of 14 days through April, the daily reported.

If the fallout drags on, Toyota's parent-only 2010 worldwide production target of 7.5 million units, a nearly 18 percent increase from a year earlier, may need to be downgraded as well, the Nikkei added.

(Reporting by Isheeta Sanghi in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)