Toyota issued a global recall of its 2023 bZ4X electric crossover SUV less than two months after the vehicle was released. The automaker said the hub bolts on the wheel can loosen while driving, which could cause the entire wheel to come off. Understandably, Toyota is warning owners not to drive their vehicle until the issue is resolved.
The recall represents a setback for the world’s largest automaker, which has pledged to spend $17.6 billion to roll out 30 battery-electric models by 2030. The bZ4X, which began deliveries to customers there less than two months ago, is considered the tip of the spear. in Toyota’s belated attempt to switch to electric vehicles.
Toyota says the cause of the loose hub bolts is still under investigation. Customers are advised to inform their local authorized Toyota dealer, who will collect the bZ4X for servicing and provide a loaner vehicle free of charge.
Of the 2,700 vehicles affected by the recall, 2,200 were destined for Europe, 280 for North America, 110 for Japan and 60 for the rest of Asia. Most vehicles were not delivered to consumers.
The bZ4X is the latest EV to be recalled, although by comparison it looks like one of the most serious. Ford issued a recall last week for 49,000 Mustang Mach-E SUVs, but insisted the problem could be fixed with an over-the-air software update. Other EVs have also been recalled for various software bugs and other minor issues.
The recall comes at a time when demand for electric vehicles is steadily increasing, thanks to rising gas prices and a growing number of models available for purchase. Tesla continues to dominate the market, but traditional automakers are gaining ground with the release of mid-range crossovers and luxury vehicles. Prices are also rising, thanks to inflation, strong demand and the rising cost of key materials, such as the minerals that make up lithium-ion batteries.