Toyota announced it has fixed the problem that had the wheels falling off the new bZ4X electric crossover. The company said it’s resumed production of the bZ4X and the related Subaru Solterra on the EV assembly line in Motomachi, Japan.
The automaker’s report to the Japanese ministry of transport revealed heavy braking and sharp turns could cause a hub bolt to come loose on the vehicle. If this went unnoticed, wheels could break or become completely loose. During the recall period, Toyota also discovered airbags had been improperly installed in some bZ4X units, and that issue has also been addressed.
The recall affected about 2,700 units of the bZ4X and 1,600 of the Solterra. However, only Toyota had begun customer deliveries, with about 270 vehicles in North America. Toyota previously offered to buy back or hold the recalled vehicles for customers until a repair was developed.
“We apologize again for the concern, anxiety, and inconvenience we have caused to our customers, our dealers and our stakeholders,” Toyota Executive Vice President Masahiko Maeda said, according to a Reuters report.
Toyota isn’t saying much about the issue, including how much this stumble was going to cost, but it appears the problem was with the wheels and not in the vehicle design.
“It is embarrassing to say that we had done various assessments, but we couldn’t detect this problem because we didn’t conduct the assessments based on a premise that the quality of wheels would be so off in the assessment process,” Maeda said.
The fix for the bZ4X and Solterra involves new hub bolts and new wheels. Toyota said that replacement parts would be available by November and that all bZ4X customers would have the new parts installed at no charge.
With a fix in place for the vehicles, production of the two crossovers has resumed. Toyota did not say when the bZ4X will be back on sale in America, but the company plans to begin new deliveries in Japan by the end of October.