Toyota Resumes bZ4X Production After Fixing Wheel Hub Bolt Issue

1 year, 9 months ago - 9 October 2022, InsideEVs
Toyota Resumes bZ4X Production After Fixing Wheel Hub Bolt Issue
Toyota's first mass-market EV resumes manufacturing at the Motomachi plant in Japan today after a pause of more than three months.

Toyota has announced it will resume production and sales of the bZ4X after fixing the cause of the recall announced in June.

Toyota Executive Vice President Masahiko Maeda was quoted as saying by Reuters that the automaker will gradually resume bZ4X shipments and will prioritize meeting demand for customers waiting for the car.

The automaker recalled 2,700 bZ4X SUVs less than two months after the model was launched because of a risk of wheels coming loose. In June, Japan's safety regulator said that sharp turns and sudden braking could cause a hub bolt to loosen, increasing the risk of a wheel coming off the vehicle. While analysts said it was a simple and inexpensive problem to fix, it took Toyota more than three months to find a remedy.

In a filing with Japan's transport ministry, Toyota said it would make sure hub bolts were replaced and properly tightened in new cars. As a result, the company will resume production of the electric SUV in Japan on October 6.

Of the 2,700 recalled Toyota bZ4X electric SUVs, approximately 2,200 are in Europe, 280 in North America, 110 in Japan, and 60 in the rest of Asia. At the time the recall was announced, Toyota advised all bZ4X owners to stop using the vehicle immediately.

Subaru also had to recall around 2,600 units of the Solterra, its version of the bZ4X that it jointly developed with Toyota. It's safe to assume that the fix applies to the Subaru Solterra as well, and that production of the sister vehicle will also resume shortly—both are made at Toyota's Motomachi assembly plant in Japan.

For Subaru, most of the vehicles affected by the recall were for dealers and none were delivered to customers in the US, a Subaru spokesperson told Reuters in June. 

The Toyota bZ4X is the brand's first mass-market electric vehicle and the first member of its new Beyond Zero lineup of EVs. The vehicle starts at $42,000 in the United States (plus $1,335 destination) in XLE FWD configuration. This base model offers an EPA-estimated range of 252 miles (405 kilometers).

The Subaru Solterra is the brand's first-ever production electric vehicle and it starts at $44,995 in the US (plus $1,225 destination). The price is for the Premium AWD model offering 228 miles (367 kilometers) of EPA-estimated range—Subaru only sells AWD versions of the Solterra in the US.

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