Toyota on Thursday provided a long-awaited update and solution regarding its BZ4X electric car, which has been waylaid by a pesky problem for months: Its wheels could fall off.
After several months since the issue was originally noted, Toyota says it’s a supplier issue, with hub bolts that could vibrate loose after sharp turns or braking—very quickly, apparently, as the wheel separation happened in some reported vehicles after being driven just a few miles.
The supplier of the allegedly defective hub bolts, according to updated recall documents posted by the federal government on Friday, is Japan’s Meidoh, while a pair of Chinese suppliers make the wheels.
In affected vehicles, Toyota explained that hub bolts will be replaced with those of a new design—plus washers—and the wheels will be replaced with improved ones. The repair will of course be done free of charge to customers.
Toyota has asked customers not to drive the vehicles until a fix has been made, and it went above and beyond normal recall protocol with BZ4X customers, offering them Lexus-like remedies that included loaner vehicles with reimbursed fuel costs, vehicle storage, a $5,000 credit, and extended warranties and free fast-charging perks. It even offered to buy back the cars.
Toyota says approximately 260 U.S. vehicles are involved in the recall, and the new parts will arrive starting in November. Recall documents now list the number as 661 vehicles, which likely includes models in various stages of transit and dealer possession.
The issue affects about 2,700 BZ4X and 2,600 Subaru Solterra models globally, and 100% of the recalled vehicles have the defect, according to Toyota. The Solterra shares these components down to the part number, but Subaru has verified that none of the affected Solterras had been sold in the U.S., either to dealers or retail purchasers.
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