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Wednesday, Feb 01, 2023

Toyota recalls electric cars over concerns about loose wheels

Toyota recalls electric cars over concerns about loose wheels

Motor industry giant Toyota is recalling 2,700 of its first mass-produced all-electric vehicles over concerns their wheels may fall off.
A spokesperson told the BBC that bolts on the bZ4X's wheels "can loosen to the point where the wheel can detach from the vehicle" after "low-mileage use".

The recall comes less than two months after the car was launched in Japan.

Car maker Subaru also says that for the same reason it will recall 2,600 electric cars it developed with Toyota.

On Friday, Toyota said in a statement that it had issued a safety recall for 2,700 bZ4X SUVs in the US, Europe, Canada and Japan.

"If a wheel detaches from the vehicle while driving, it could result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash," a spokesperson said.

"No one should drive these vehicles until the remedy is performed," they added.

The BBC understands that some bZ4X models have not been recalled. However, a Toyota spokesperson declined to comment on how many of the vehicle the company had manufactured.

Toyota said it had notified Japanese safety regulators about the defect on Thursday and the cause of the issue was "still under investigation".

Another Japanese car manufacturer, Subaru also said it was recalling 2,600 units of the Solterra, its first all-electric car jointly developed with Toyota, because of concerns over loose bolts. The firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the BBC.

Toyota is viewed as a relative latecomer to the electric vehicle market, as compared to rival manufacturers like Tesla, which launched its first electric car 14 years ago.

It launched the bZ4X in Japan last month. The car was only available on lease "to eliminate customer concerns regarding residual battery performance, maintenance and residual value," Toyota said earlier this year.

This week, the company said it would cut the number of vehicles it plans to produce next month by 50,000 to 800,000 because of a shortage of computer chips and supply disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Although Toyota currently aims to manufacture a total of 9.7m vehicles around the world this year, it has signaled that it may be forced to lower that number.
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