Recall as ‘Wheels Come Off’ Toyota’s First BEV

Toyota is having to recall the early production models of its first BEV owing to faulty wheels that are at risk of falling off the vehicle.

The BBC reports that the automaker is recalling 2,700 models of the Toyota bZ4X because, according to a spokesman, bolts on the wheels “can loosen to the point where the wheel can detach from the vehicle” after “low-mileage use”.

This recall has happened just two months after the car entered Toyota’s domestic market in Japan. Subaru says it will also be recalling 2,600 models of the Solterra BEV it has developed in tandem with Toyota. “No one should drive these vehicles until the remedy is performed,” the automaker said. Toyota said it had notified Japanese safety regulators about the defect on Thursday and the cause of the issue was “still under investigation”.

Toyota is a late entrant to the BEV market having preferred to concentrate on its hybrid powertrain technology and exploring hydrogen fuel-cell. It views hydrogen as vital in future zero emission transportation in line with the Japanese government’s transitioning the country to hydrogen as a main energy source to replace both nuclear and fossil fuel power.

It is, perhaps, telling that the automaker only makes the bZ4X available in Japan on a lease basis “to eliminate customer concerns regarding residual battery performance, maintenance and residual value,” Toyota said earlier this year.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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